March 25, 2008
Volume 1, Issue 1
Andy has invented another really fun Icehouse game! It's called Zark City and it uses three Treehouse sets. Zark City also requires a deck of standard playing cards (which you need to supply) that are used to form a dynamic gameboard.
Zark City is an abstract strategy board game. To start, each player chooses which color pyramids they wish to be, and places one of their pyramids on one of the playing cards forming the initial gameboard. As the game proceeds, players add more playing cards to the board, and add more pyramids to occupy those cards. The goal is to get your color pyramids (and yours alone) onto three adjacent playing cards that are physically connected (touching each other) and are of the same type (either three of a kind, such as three 5's, or a suited run, such as a 7-8-9 of hearts). Number cards alone may be added to the board; face cards are used for attacking your opponent and trying to foil their plans!
Zark City was inspired by Zarcana, one of the earliest hit games for Icehouse pyramids, which was designed by John Cooper. Zarcana is a complex game that requires a Tarot deck, and Andy was craving a simpler game which used a regular deck of playing cards. So he took the best core elements of Zarcana and soon Zark City was born. Zark City is a fast and easy Icehouse game that leaves you wanting to play again and again!
The rules for Zark City are available free. Download them today! (2-page PDF)
If you've got enough pyramids (three Treehouse sets), give Zark City a try tonight! (And if you don't have enough pyramids, pick up more!)
You may know that our pyramids are called Icehouse pieces because the first game designed for them was called Icehouse. What was the second Icehouse game? Scroll down to see the answer.
Current Online Specials
Visit LooneyLabs.com to find out how to get a FREE Computer promo card (can be used in any version of Fluxx), FREE Flowers & Fluxx, or a FREE Purple Game Bag which you can use to hold all your Looney Labs games. Coming later this year, we'll be offering other deals with special coupon codes which we'll be including in future issues of this newsletter.
Q: Regarding the "Start the Clock" Promo Card, does the clock keep ticking if the rule is discarded? Also, does the game end as soon as the timer rings, or at the end of the turn during which the timer rang?
Andy's answer: "On the face of it, the strict interpretations would be answers of "The timer goes away when the rule does" and "Sorry, you don't get to finish your turn when the timer rings." However, depending on the situation you may want to go with other interpretations. The point of the rule is to force the game to come to an end, since there are times when you really need for a Fluxx game to stop within a predictable timeframe. (For example, you're at the airport and your flight is boarding.) So, in some cases you might want to create a house rule declaring that Stop the Clock is immune to being discarded or reset. Similarly, when the timer does ring, you might in some situations need to be hard-nosed about ending the game promptly, however in this case I usually favor leeway. Sure, any given Fluxx turn has the potential to go on for too long, but unless the airplane is leaving it's reasonable to allow a grace period. After all, it really doesn't seem right for the game to end with no winner if you're in the middle of your turn and you could have won if you'd just had a few more seconds to finish what you were doing. So here are my actual answers to the questions: "It depends" and "The person whose turn it is gets to finish that turn and win in the usual way before ending the game because of the timer."
Survey of the Month
It's hard to choose a favorite Icehouse game since there are over 200 at this point. So what's your favorite Andy Looney Icehouse game? Since even that list is rather long, Andy has narrowed it down to what he considers his seven best. Which one is your favorite?
Take the Survey! We'll post the results in next month's newsletter.
Trivia Question Answer
Trice. (Martian Chess and Zarcana are both good guesses, being the third and fourth Icehouse games invented, but Andy's triangular board game was #2.) The rules for Trice are available free at Wunderland.com!