Real time board game involving pointing?
January 4, 2018 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Some time ago I read about a real time board game involving pointing oddly shaped pieces at each other.

I read about it on someone's website; they had designed the game themselves and as far as I know, it was never published. I'm remembering a website with a plain white background and black Times New Roman text, basically the website of an academic or a grad student. They described the game, to my memory, as some kind of game aliens would play to test their dexterity and wits (the description was pretty funny in its pompousness). It was a "real time" game meaning no turns were taken, and involved people sitting around a bunch of oddly jagged shaped pieces and pointing them at each other. They may have even linked to an example video of it being played, and basically a few people had their hands on some weirdly shaped pieces and were pivoting them around on the table pointing them at other people's pieces. I'm not sure what the point of the game was but it looked funny and for some reason I'm remembering it now.
posted by pravit to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Probably Icehouse
posted by inkyz at 6:28 PM on January 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Seconding that this sounds like Icehouse. Here's another resource on it.

There's also an off-chance you're thinking of Zarcana, a strategy game played with Icehouse pieces and Tarot cards, although it lacks the key feature of real-time gameplay.

> basically the website of an academic or grad student

Did you happen to find yourself on Andrew Plotkin's website? He has some Icehouse-related content there, as well as a bunch of writing about other weird stuff, including his really excellent text adventure games.

He's also, incidentally, the person responsible for modifying the party game called Mafia to turn it into the game many people (especially people who've ever been in the games room at a sci-fi or comics convention) are familiar with as Werewolf.
posted by a mirror and an encyclopedia at 7:07 PM on January 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Here's a video of the games' inventor demonstrating Icehouse, a variant called Ice Towers, and the new Zendo.

BTW the 'weird shapes' in these games are pyramids. If your shapes are different, it's probably not Icehouse.
posted by Rash at 9:47 PM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

My memory is that Icehouse (which everyone has linked to above) was originally from a sci-fi story where the author (later owner of a game company) described martians playing a real-time game like this. A friend of his later invented rules for this and they made up some pyramids and had fun with it.

The game is kind of outre, and I think the turn-based games (such as Zarcana) that come with the set are better for traditional game players.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:36 PM on January 7, 2018

Response by poster: Yes, Icehouse is it, and this is the website I was thinking of. Thanks!
posted by pravit at 7:55 PM on January 10, 2018

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