Pyramido Game Review


20 May 2024
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Pyramido is a game you'll want in your collection, and our review looks into just why this tile-laying pyramid-building game is a Must Play game

Written for Tabletop Gaming magazine. This game also won an award at the UKGE 2024 awards, for best abstract game

Sometimes, a game just has to find the right changes to a previously award-winning design, to create an all-new (yet equally nostalgic feeling) modern gaming classic.

What is Pyramido?

Pyramido is a domino stacking puzzle game for 2-4 players. Pharaoh Mido desires to have the most beautiful pyramid for his final resting place and has tasked you architects with designing his jewel encrusted monument.

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How to Play Pyramido

Each round, players will be selecting domino tiles to build one stage of their pyramid. Each turn, players will have three different dominoes to choose from, with 90 different unique patterns in the set. Dominoes can have six different colours and a varied number of jewel icons arranged in each four-square half. When you place a domino, you must also play one of your jewel markers if possible, which signals what jewels will pay out points at the end of the round. You can only score points for matching sections connected to the square with marker, encouraging players to create large blocks of matching colours.

So far, so Kingdomino. The clever twist which literally elevates the game is that players build upon their previous stages of the pyramid each round. Any jewel symbols still visible are added to the next round’s score, provided players can play another domino on top with the same colour patterns in the same area.

This added consideration is Pyramido’s biggest strength and most compelling mechanic, which the entire game is built around. Because you’re literally building the foundations of your future success, every placement matters. You need to make sure to orientate tiles so that symbols are always on the outer edge, ensuring they’ll continue to score points later, but the layout for tiles often ensures that placing once side optimally may cost you scoring the other colour.

You’re also intently looking at each other’s turns, trying to see which colours they’re favouring and whether it’s worth competing with them, or even attempting to block them. After selecting one of three dominoes, you must replace it from one of the four adjacent stacks, knowing exactly what tile you’ll be adding to the pool. This means that sometimes it’s worth taking a tile you’re not keen on, if it lets you add a domino you really want, especially when no-one else is likely to pick the same pattern.

Each player also has three double-sided resurfacing cards. Players can spend any card to palette swap one square of a domino, ensuring you can score a particular pattern. However, choosing one side will then deny you another colour, further incentivising players to constantly diversify their colours and ensure everyone is chasing for every possible domino.

Enjoy tile laying? Try Carcassonne

How does Pyramido Play?

The constant chase for the ‘best’ tiles at any time and the challenge to arrange them in the most optimal way makes for an incredibly compelling experience. As rounds progress and players begin to realise their mistakes, the number of dominoes to be played also reduces, ensuring the pace never freezes up as players try to squeeze as many points as they can.

The production is wonderful, with comfortingly weighty cardboard dominos and great looking wooden markers gives the game an almost timeless experience; you could convincingly tell people this game was a decade’s old classic.

This timeless nature and reinvention of predecessors makes Pyramido a superb family game. Every player I’ve put this game in front of has wanted to play it again, the most tell-tale sign of any game being deserving of the ‘Must Play’ recommendation. A wonderful blend of classic mechanics with modern design sensibilities, get this game if your playgroup loves playing games that let you puzzle over the perfect potential point-production.

Looking for another abstract game? Try Hive

Verdict?

This is a must-play game.

Try it if you liked Kingdomino, as the similarities are immediately obvious, but for those who loved the fantasy domino game, Pyramido feels like an improvement on every feature without adding a lot of complication

Buy a copy of Pyramido for yourself on Amazon!

About Pyramido

Designer: Ikhwan Kwon

Publisher: Synapses Games

Time: 30-45 minutes

Players: 2-4

Ages: 8+

Price: £35

What’s in the box?

  • 24 Wooden jewel markers
  • 12 Resurfacing cards
  • 90 Dominoes
  • Scoring tablet

 

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