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         an ancient Martian game lives again


One hundred thousand years ago, on Mars, unusual games were played with crystal pyramids. A decade ago, on Earth, one of these games was discovered by Andrew Looney and John Cooper. They called it Icehouse.

It made the Games 100, but didn't sell very well at first. Perhaps it was too esoteric for most Earthlings. Since then, though, over a dozen new games have been created on Earth--or rediscovered on Mars--to utilize the same set of 60 crystal pyramids that has become known as an "Icehouse set". And now Looney Labs (which has blossomed into a nice little game design house) has released a beautiful new injection-molded edition, with rules for the most popular games included; the rules for all the games are on their web site. These new sets are really nice.

Ok, where does Dan Efran come into the picture? Why the free advertising for this unaffiliated bunch of Looneys? Simple: I've been an Icehouse player (and occasionally a tournament finalist) for a long time; the new games are cool too; the new sets are beautiful; I have the honor of knowing the Looney Labs gang, and they're great people; I've invented my own game, Martian Frisby, that uses an Icehouse set; and I'm just generally an Icehouse fanatic. I also co-wrote a computer adaptation of Icehouse, XIcehouse.

If you like abstract strategy games and bright shiny things, or if you want to explore an exciting facet of Martian culture, take a look at Icehouse.

For more information about Icehouse, be sure to see the official page.

Villa InfinityCopyright ©1999-2003 by Daniel S. Efran. All rights reserved.
Last update for this page: 28 March 2004
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