Gamewright Ages 8+ 2-4 players 15 minutes Strategy Game COMPETITIVE
Choosing! Pulling! Sliding! These are all fun words to describe one of Gamewright‘s newest strategy games. Pyramix is a three-sided, clever, and easy to learn strategy game with a unique Egyptian look and feel. The pyramid shaped base and hieroglyphs on the cubes are a nice touch. We recently received this game to review from Gamewright and when we first opened the box, the game set up looked intimidating. There are a LOT of small wooden cubes and a complex looking base all organized into a cute pyramid shape inside of the box. But, don’t be fooled! It is far simpler to set up and play than it looks. The base itself keeps all of the cubes under control! We appreciated that convenience and thoughtfulness in design right off the bat.
The game comes with 56 colorful cubes, a base tray, and a cleverly folded rulebook. While the triangular folded shape of the rulebook fits nicely with the theme, it will make you slightly crazy if you’d like to keep it folded exactly as it was when you received it.
Game play starts with the player with the most triangular nose. This might start a fight, so be careful about those not so nice nose comments. (In our household, I will always go first.) Each player removes one cube per turn (following certain rules) from the base until all that remains is a single layer on the base. The cubes slide down and fill in the openings all on their own. At the end, you use the scoring criteria to tally points. Whoever scores the highest number of points wins. (As an aside, our eight year old son picked up on a cute little trick the first time we played. The ankh has one ‘leg’ and counts for one point. The crane has two ‘legs’ and counts for two points. The eye has three ‘legs’ and counts as three points. The cobra has no ‘legs’ so it isn’t worth anything. We think this is a great way to keep track as you go along.) The cubes on the base layer are divided based on who controls the most of each color ankh.
This game has some unique tensions when playing that are fun and much less heart pounding than Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert. A lot of the tension comes from choices made along the way. Do you play aggressively to rack up points in the early game, or do you play a slow and steady game that might earn lots of bonus points at the end?
We’ve played through the game with a few different groups since we received it. One group was a mix of adults and children, one group was all adults, and one group was all children with an adult supervisor. Overall, it was a much more challenging game with adults than with children. It was easy for the children to get caught up in collecting ankhs and missing out on what was on the base of the pyramid. Adults were much more competitive, which meant that overall points at the end of the game were VERY close. One disappointment is that it is very easy to take an early lead in the game. Once that happens, and other players see a clear winner, the game quickly goes downhill.
In the end, we really enjoyed the way this game teaches strategic thinking, visual discrimination, and pattern recognition in a way that is appealing to tactile and visual learners by including pieces to touch and pull and bright, colorful graphics. Our youngest players also enjoyed the clacking sounds that the cubes made when sliding into the base.
At a MSRP of $21.99 this Mensa Select award winning game is another solid strategy game to add to your collection.