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Under development

This game is currently under development, in the Initial Design stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Shizendo is inspired by the Popcap[1] game Psychobabble and Zendo.

My Japanese dictionary tells me that "shi" can mean "four", "death", "poem", "teacher, master", or "city".


It is quite apparent to me, after a small number of tests, that this game is in need of much work before it is actually enjoyable.


This game should be playable both with or without a "master".

Each turn:

  • A random assortment of pyramids is selected - this is the icepool. The exact mechanism is yet to be determined.
  • Each player receives a copy of the icepool. I.e., if the pool contains two large red pieces and five small blue pieces, each player gets two large red and five small blue. Needless to say, this game might require a large amount of stashes (or a small amount of players). I've to fiddle with this.
  • A rule is selected either by the master or by drawing a rule card as in Zendo. Players decide which to use for any particular game.
  • A buddha-nature is selected using the same method as above. I.e., either "has" or "does not have", white or black as in Zendo marking stones.
  • All players attempt to (secretly) make koans which, according to the current rule, have or do not have the buddha-nature depending on which was selected. They must use only the pieces which they have (from their copy of the icepool).
  • Once all players are ready, their koans are revealed and each player receives one point for every completed koan which matches the selected "having-ness" of the buddha-nature. Thus the maximum score for any turn is the number of pieces in the icepool - i.e., provided the rule marks each piece individually, either upright or flat, as a "correct" koan.


  • after a number of turns, whoever has the most points wins.
  • Play again.