Looney Labs has released a series of smaller box games featuring their Pyramids. Some feature games from their Pyramid Arcade, while Nomids is a new game. While they refer to Nomids as an expansion to Pyramid Arcade, it really isn’t. If you own Pyramid Arcade you already have all the components necessary to play Nomids.
If not, there’s a lot of Pyramids in this small box (30, to be precise, or 10 sets of Pyramid trios of a single color) and that means a lot of gaming possibilities.
The object behind Nomids is hidden in the name: No ‘Mids, or No (Pyra)Mids. Your aim is to end your turn with No Pyramids in front of you.
Let’s take a look at how this all plays out, shall we?
Playing the Game
Players begin by selecting three Pyramids, one of each size (Small, Medium, and Large), each in a different color. With 10 different colors of Pyramids to choose from, this isn’t hard to do.
The remaining Pyramids are left to the side and become the Bank. During the game you’ll be taking and returning Pyramids to the Bank, so make sure it’s in easy reach of all players.
From there, choose a starting player. That player rolls the six-sided Lightning die and follows through on whatever the die decrees:
Lightning Bolt: Return any of your Pyramids to the Bank.
Split Circle: Add any Pyramid from the Bank to your collection.
Two Pyramids: Give any Pyramid from the Bank to another player.
Singular Arrow: Move any Pyramid from one player to another player.
Circular Arrows: Swap any two Pyramids belonging to any two players.
Explosion: Choose any of the above actions.
There’s also a special rule to help you get rid of Pyramids. The Monochrome Liquidation states that at the end of your turn, if you have a trio of Pyramids of any single color, you can return all three to the Bank.
Play proceeds from player to player, with each player rolling the Lightning die and resolving the action shown, or choosing their own action if the Explosion (Wild) side appears or if there are no remaining Pyramids left in the Bank to choose from.
This is a simple game where you will make choices based on what will help you get rid of your Pyramids or adding to your opponents’ collections of Pyramids. They, of course, will try to do the same thing to you.
The game gets a slight strategic lift from the Monochrome Liquidation rule. By intentionally trying to collect the three Pyramids of a single color, you increase your chances of being able to empty your collection and win the game. Of course, this will not go unnoticed, making it likely that your opponents will target your collection and try to disrupt your plans.
Nomids is a quick, easy-to-learn dice game that makes for a good family or party game. It would easily work as a filler at the end of a more brain-crunching evening of gaming.
My initial fear was that Nomids would be an endless loop of Take That moves, where turns never really altered the chances of anyone winning. Instead, at three and four players, games took between five and ten minutes to play.
While the box claims it can play 2-10 players, I worry that too many players would make for a very long game. After all, there’s nothing to do between your turn other than watching other people roll the die and decide how to take the action shown on the Lightning die.
The rules state that Nomids was designed to be an introductory game to the Pyramids. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more, and that’s to its credit. I am typically not a fan of luck-based games or any game that involves a six-sided die (D&D excluded). My love for the Looney Labs Pyramids, however, will keep this in my collection.
But Wait… There’s More!
The Pyramids and Lightning die included in Nomids are all you need to play several other games in the Pyramid Arcade. The rules for Nomids also come with the rules for three of these games: Pharaoh, Pyramid-Sham-Bo, and Treehouse.
This is a great example of why I like Looney Labs so much. They could have easily just released Nomids as a stand-alone game and left it at that. Instead, they’re encouraging you to play even more games with the Pyramids and Lightning die right in the rules.
These are people who love getting people to play games. And isn’t that what we’re all really hoping to do within this hobby/obsession of ours?