Published by: Iello Games
# of Players: 2 to 5
Pyramids is a 30 minute game that is played with cards that will make up the building material for your monuments. Pyramids comes with over 100 construction cards that have a high gloss finish. The different building materials are different colors and also have different patterns so that those who are color blind can play the game with ease. Each player gets a card that covers all the scoring methods and Pyramids comes with a thick score book to total up the score at the end of the game. Due to all the scoring methods, this is greatly appreciated and needed. The game comes in a box that has a magnetic flap cover similar to Biblios. The rules are printed on high gloss paper and contain detailed illustrations to explain every detail of the game. Pyramids is very simple to learn and the instructions do a great job explaining everything and leaving you with no questions. While it may not be Iello's most flashy game, it does have quality components that will handle lots of gaming fun.
Pyramids is a mix of turn selection and set collection that plays in under an hour. Pyramids is played over 10 rounds and contains 2 steps for each round. The goal is to be the player with the highest amount of victory points at the end of the game. One player will start as at the first player. There will be 4 god tiles in a 2 or 3 player game and 5 god tiles in a 4 or 5 player game. These tiles will be placed in the center of the table for players to choose their initiative and what they will be able to build. Also in the center of the table will be face up building cards. The number of cards will be the player count x2. The first player will select a god tile followed by the player on their left and so on till each player has chosen a tile. The number on the tile means in what turn order the player will pick their building cards. Underneath the number is up to 3 symbols showing which monuments you can build on your turn. Each player must place a card in their pyramid each round. The other two monuments are optional when displayed on the tile. After each player has selected their god tiles, the player with initiative will add a card to their pyramid and possibly add a card to your obelisk and/or tomb. Pyramids will start on first level with 4 cards eventually making up the base floor. Once you have 2 cards on the base, you can place your next card on the next level with 1 column above the right column of card A and the other column over the left column of card B. The illustrations show how placement will look with a final pyramid. Obelisks are constructed by placing a card above the previous card in one straight line going up. The tomb is different because you are placing a card face down into a tomb deck. These will be revealed at the end of the game for scoring. Some cards have a glyph on the building material. If the glyph is placed in the displayed monument, you will earn bonus points. Once everyone has completed the 10th round, the game is over and you will score all 3 monuments.
There are many ways you will score points in Pyramids. You will score points for each stone in your longest connection of each color in your pyramid. They must be connected orthogonally to be be considered connected. You will also gain 1 victory point for each stone in your longest connection in your pyramid. This basically doubles the score of one your colors for your pyramid. If each color earns at least 3 points, you will earn 10 bonus points for your pyramid. The obelisk provides points based on the number of stages that you have the most of one type of color. In the picture above, the player has blue in 5 stages (cards) of their obelisk and score 15 points. Each player will reveal and count up the number of stones in each color of their tomb. For each color, the player with the majority earns 5 points. If there is a tie, then no one gets the points. Finally you will total up all the glyphs that have been placed in the correct monument and award 2 points to each glyph. The player with the most points after everything has been totaled is declared the winner and the most glorious dynasty.
Pyramids has become one of my favorite short games. I love how it takes the feel of many popular euro style games and condenses it down to a 30 minute fast paced game. The game pace does not hinder the amount of strategy and risk reward decision making. Pyramids was very easy to teach to others and everyone understood what was going on by the end of the first round. Focusing on any one set monument will not lead to victory, but you need a balanced strategy that adapts to the other players. The only cutthroat part of the game is selecting a card someone else wanted. This happened to me a lot but I still had a lot of fun. There are many ways to score points and it may feel overwhelming during your first game, but by the end you will know how each monument scores and will already be planning how to improve for your next game. This fills an area of a filler game with a big euro feel that will please many hobbyists to add to their collection. The amount of cards provided make each game different. My only issue was the high gloss finish causes some of the cards to slide a little more than I would like for this game. This is staying in my collection and will be hitting my table a lot as my recommended filler to play. If you like games that can be played in 30 minutes and like scoring systems like 7 Wonders, then Pyramids is for you. This is currently one of my biggest surprises of 2017 and would rank it up with games like Biblios and 7 Wonders.
+30 minute game with big euro game feel
+Easy to teach and learn
+Plenty of risk reward and strategy
+Many ways to score points
-Cards can slide a lot due to high gloss finish