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Icehouse (game)

Icehouse is a turnless abstract strategy game invented by Andrew Looney and John Cooper. It was the first of many games played with Icehouse pieces.

Andrew Looney came up with the idea for a game played with pyramids in a series of science-fiction short stories he was writing; several of the characters were obsessed with playing the game of Icehouse which had been recovered from the long-dead Martian civilization. John Cooper created the rules to make the game playable in real life. The game is covered by U.S. Patent No. 4,936,585, granted on June 26, 1990.

Icehouse is a board game for two or more players, but played without a board or turns; players can place a piece whenever they want to, and the playing surface is a tabletop or any designated area. Each player has a set or stash of fifteen Icehouse pieces (pyramids of various point values) in their distinctive color, and plays them either defensively (standing upright) or in attack mode (lying on its side with the point facing a defending piece). The rules (free online or for purchase from Looney Labs) explain how pieces are iced (captured), over-iced, or taken control of, and address questions that may come up during play. The game ends when the final piece is played onto the game surface or an agreed time limit is reached, and the points of the successful attacking and defending pyramids are totaled up to determine the winner.

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