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Icehouse Games
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Icehouse was a game based on a description from a science fiction story that Andrew Looney wrote. He described a game played without turns, or a board, that could be played on any flat surface, with little pyramids of various sizes and colors. John Cooper designed a game based on this description, and people began making the pieces and playing the games. After a while, people realized that the pieces were fairly well suited for designing other games, and lots of other games have been designed with these pieces. Thus it became a game system, or generic set of components which can be used for many different games, just like a deck of cards.

For more information on Icehouse and Icehouse games, see these sites:
The official Icehouse Home Page: http://www.wunderland.com/icehouse/Default.html
The Other Official Icehouse Page: http://www.icehousegames.com/
SLICK, the list of over 100 Icehouse Games: http://www.icehousegames.com/SLICK.html
The Icehouse Game Design Competition: http://www.icehousegames.com/contest/
The unofficial Icehouse games wiki, for discussion of existing and new Icehouse games: http://icehousegames.org/wiki/
A site on which you can play several Icehouse games, among others: http://superdupergames.org/

If I missed any Icehouse games, or any are added to the database, please add them.
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1. Board Game: Icehouse [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1783]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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The original game. A freeform, boardless, turnless, realtime abstract strategy game. Fairly fiddly and slightly broken, but it has a lot of character, and a large cult following.
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2. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:490]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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A game of inductive logic, quite original. How the game plays depends a lot on how good the Master is at coming up with decent rules.
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3. Board Game: IceTowers [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3160]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Another boardless, turnless, realtime abstract strategy game, designed to be easier to learn and play than the original Icehouse. Best played with the giant cardboard Icehouse pieces.
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4. Board Game: Zarcana [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6364]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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The first game other than Icehouse designed to be used with Icehouse pieces, Zarcana is an abstract wargame played on a changing board made up of Tarot cards.
 
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5. Board Game: Gnostica [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:3666]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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The successor to Zarcana, although there are fans of both. Zarcana is more random, fiddly, chaotic, and strategic, while Gnostica is more balanced, tactical and streamlined.
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6. Board Game: Volcano [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2027]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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A set collection game with interesting mechanics. Requires 6 Icehouse stashes, or 9 for mega-volcano. There is a variant for 4 stashes, but that variant is very light. In multiplayer game, there is a slight problem of how each player does depending very heavily on how well the player before them plays. Has good solitaire variants.
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7. Board Game: Homeworlds [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:2186]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Space based empire building wargame. With more than 2 players, adds a bluffing/deduction element similar to Werewolf.
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8. Board Game: RAMbots [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:5335]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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A game in which the players secretly set up a program to control their robots, and then simultaneous reveal their programs and execute them. Very similar to RoboRally.
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9. Board Game: Playing With Pyramids [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:2297]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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A book containing 12 Icehouse games, some of which already appear on this list:

IceTowers
Thin Ice (a party game in which Icehouse pieces are balanced in precarious structures)
Zendo
Martian Backgammon (a variant of backgammon)
Volcano
Martian Chess (played on a chessboard, everyone controls all pieces in their quadrant, and attempts to capture enemy pieces, but lose control of their own when they capture)
RAMbots
Pikemen (chesslike game in which pieces have various orientations, and can be in attacking or defending positions)
Zagami (players try to capture enemy's pieces by jumping on them, and can perform various actions with captured enemy pieces)
Icehouse
Homeworlds
Gnostica
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10. Board Game: Undercut [Average Rating:6.37 Unranked]
Matt Kimball
United States
Seattle
Washington
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A reverse auction game played with icehouse pieces randomly pulled from a bag.
 
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11. Board Game: Branches and Twigs and Thorns [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:7617]
A L D A R O N
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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A simplified and less-likely to tie version of Martian Go.
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12. Board Game: Blam! [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:6660]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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finished 2nd in the 3rd Icehouse Game Design Contest (winter 2005).

Also playable online.
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13. Board Game: CrackeD ICE [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:8731]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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a quick and simple dexterity game using Icehouse pieces and parts you already have around the house (or will likely get in the mail soon).
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14. Board Game Accessory: Black Ice
Miguel
United States
Oakland
California
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15. Board Game: Tic Tac Doh! [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:8040]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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comes in ICE-7 card packs.
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16. Board Game: Martian Mud Wrestling [Average Rating:4.85 Unranked]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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A fast and kinda 3D two player game.
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17. Board Game: Martian Chess [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4450]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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one of the older Icehouse games, and a surprisingly interesting one.
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18. Board Game: Martian Backgammon [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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a nice mixture of pyramids and luck.
 
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19. Board Game: Sprawl [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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Another winner, from the 1st Icehouse Game Design Contest.
 
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20. Board Game: Alien City [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:4193]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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An Icehouse/piecepack hybrid game in which players construct domes and towers while leaving a road network to connect them. Players claim certain towers, and score a tower based on how many buildings of other colors are near it, and how far it is to the closest tower of the same color, measured along the road network. A fascinating little game in which the road network emerges as pieces are played.
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21. Board Game: Pikemen [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:4338]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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An interesting chess-like game for Icehouse pyramids that uses an interesting mechanic to balance offensive and defensive capabilities.
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22. Board Game: Thin Ice [Average Rating:5.17 Overall Rank:9528]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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A quirky multiplayer dexterity party game.
 
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23. Board Game: Zagami [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked]
Ryan Hackel
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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Unfortunately I don't know much about this one.
 
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24. Board Game: Transformation [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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I've created a GeekList for games that weren't designed for Icehouse pieces, but can be played with them. See that list here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
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25. Board Game: Treehouse [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:4253]
Brian Campbell
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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This is a single-stach game in which players roll a die to determine what turn actions are available, while trying to get their configuration of pieces to match that of a goal, by changing either their own or the goal pieces.
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