|Designed by Gregory Lattanzio|
|Players:||2 - 4|
|Trios per color:||3 to 4|
|Number of colors:||5 plus 1 per player|
|Monochr. stashes:||5 plus 1 per player|
|- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -|
|Zark City Cards, Color Die|
|Setup time:||1 min|
|Playing time:|| 15 min|
0.25 Hr- 25 min
|Game mechanics:||Bidding, Building|
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|Status: Complete (v), Year released: 2017|
Pyramid Arcade deck of cards (Zark City Deck). A Color Die (the one that comes with Pyramid Arcade works best). 3 trios of the 5 colors corresponding to those in the deck (4 for a 4-player game), plus 2 trios of another color per player (I prefer using the opaques for this).
Player’s Banks: These pyramids are the stored material that players use to help complete an order. If collected from a pallet, these can be used as building resources along with the other colored pyramids.
Pallet: Cards on which resources wait while their orders are being filled.
Collected Resource Piles (CRP): These are where players put the resources they earn from pallets. At the end of the game, they are used to make each player’s building.
Global Resource Pile (GRP): This is where the uncollected and unplaced resources are placed.
Resources: Pyramids corresponding to the colors in the deck are the resources. Put them in reach of each player.
Spire: When placed on a building, any Smalls on the highest level of a building are called Spires.
Collect building material, and follow a building code to construct the most valuable structure.
Remove the face cards from the deck. Create piles from the remaining cards, 1 pile of each suite. Shuffle the piles and then turn them over face up. Roll the dice to determine the 1st 4 pallets, putting down a card for the color/symbol that matches each roll. The atom is wild.
The unique color for each player becomes a player’s bank.
Put the remaining pyramids in the GRP.
On your turn, you must either (1) purchase a pallet of resources, either by means of your banked material or by taking a pallet that is already complete, (2) place a pyramid on to a pallet of its color, or (3) contribute a pyramid from your bank to a pallet that is not complete.
You may not place more global resources on a card than the pallet’s value (its pip count). All players may contribute to a pallet, but all other pyramids on a pallet must correspond to its color.
No pallet can be purchased in the act of placing a pyramid from the GRP, even if the pallet is “complete.”
You may purchase a pallet by bringing the total of pips worth of pyramids on a card to equal or greater than the number on the card in the act of contributing stored material from your bank to the pallet (aces require 11 points worth of pyramids) or by taking a pallet that has the required number of pyramid points already on it. When playing with more than two players, the pallet must have at least one resource pyramid on it already before it can be purchased. You may use up to 4 pips worth of pyramids to make the purchase (i.e., a Large and a Small pyramid would be a legal play but not a Large and a Medium pyramid), even if you go over the value on the card.
Pyramids that are from other player’s banks are returned to their banks. All of the other pyramids, including the stored-material pyramids of the player who bought the pallet’s are added to the purchasing player’s CRP.
If you clear a pallet, you roll the dice to determine the active pallet card that is put into play. If you roll a color that no longer has available resources, you get to place a card from the top of the deck of your choosing.
Hold on to the cards that you collect; ties are won by the player with the most cards collected.
When you purchase a card, you may make change for the pyramids you are moving into your CRP if you spent more than necessary, or you may simple keep the extra pip count worth of pieces.
Example: You place a Large pyramid from your bank on a 3 of Clubs that has 1 blue Small on it already. You may then place the Large and Small in your CRP, while moving an existing Small of your bank’s color from your CRP back into your bank. You may instead decide to make change from the resource color on the card you purchased, moving pyramids from your CRP; these pyramids are then returned to the GRP. This may help you to rid your CRP of some unwanted pyramids.
Ending the game
When someone can complete a building, they may, on their turn, call for the building phase to begin. Each other player then gets 1 more turn. Then each player should attempt to erect their structure from their CRP; the player with the highest score wins.
Building Code and Scoring
Each level in a building consists of pyramids of a single size, and each built level must have at least 1 pyramid that does not have any pyramids played on top of it. If you do not have enough pyramids on a given level to allow for this, then the next level cannot be built.
The bottom level must consist only of Large pyramids. It must have at least 4 larges to be completed.
The 2nd level must consist only of Medium pyramids. It must have at least 3 Mediums to be completed.
The 3rd level must have at least 1 Small for it to be a completed building.
You can go beyond the 3rd level by legally placing additional Smalls on top of the 3rd level (e.g., if the third level contains 2 Smalls, a single Small may be placed on one of those pyramids).
You start building with the bottom level. If you do not have the necessary pyramids to build a given level, your building stops and scores, half-built. A structure is considered complete if it has at least 3 levels built to code.
The following bonuses determine score.
Bricks: Each pyramid in a building is worth 1 point.
Levels: Each completed level is worth an additional 2 points.
Cohesiveness: Each monochrome level is worth an additional 3 points.
Diversity: You earn an additional 3 points if your building has at least one of each color from the GRP.
Regality: You earn an additional 4 points for each additional Spire placed beyond the 1st Spire (e.g., if level 4 is your highest level and it has 3 Spires, you would score 8 points).
Unused: Each pyramid from your CRP that you cannot legally play costs you 1 point.
Unspent: Each pyramid that remains in your bank is worth one positive point.