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Store:  Family Games, 2-Player Games
Edition:  Pylos / Pyraos
Genre:  Abstract Strategy
Format:  Board Games

Pylos


List Price: $34.99
Your Price: $27.99
(20% savings!)
(Worth 2,799 Funagain Points!)

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 10-20 minutes 2

Designer(s): David G Royffe

Manufacturer(s): Gigamic

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  • WARNING: Choking Hazard - Toy is a Marble

Product Description

In Pylos, you want to be one who places the final ball on top of the pyramid. Sounds simple enough, right?

At the start of the game, each player has fifteen balls, either light or dark, and they take turns placing them on a game board that has sixteen indentations on it in a 4x4 grid. Once four balls have been placed next to one another in a square, a ball can be placed on top of them, forming a second level of play. Players can then place balls on this second level, eventually allowing a ball to be placed on the third level – and once that level is full, which requires only four balls, a final ball can be placed on the fourth level, with that player winning the game.

If a player forms a square of his own color – that is, four balls placed next to one another on the same level – that player can remove one or two of his balls (that don't support anything) from anywhere on the board and place them in his reserve, thereby giving him more balls to place in the future. Whenever a player forms a square that's not entirely his own color, he can "stack" one of his pieces – that is, he can take any ball and place it on this square, locking some pieces in place and making a move without having to place a piece from his reserve.

The rules include a variant for children (that removes the square bonus) and one for experts (that allows a player to return 1-2 balls to his reserve when he creates a line of his color).

Product Information

  • Designer(s): David G Royffe

  • Manufacturer(s): Gigamic

  • Year: 2016

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 10 - 20 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 1,145 grams

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Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4 in 1 review

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by Major Fun
Pylos is not your average pyramid scheme - this one's fun!
July 09, 2009

At first glance, Pylos looks like a game where players race to have their color bead on top of the pyramid. Which is pretty much what the game is about. But if you try to do just exactly that, the game seems silly in deed. The second player always wins. Unless you read the rules.

If you find a square of beads already on the board, you can put one bead on top, either from your "reserve" (the troughs on your side of the board), or by moving a bead that is already on the board. If you build a new square of your beads (four adjacent to each other), you get to take one or two (the number being of great, yet subtle strategic significance) of your "free" beads (freedom being measured in terms of not having any other piece on top of you), and return them to your reserve. Which gives you an extra piece or two to play. Which makes it more likely that the other player will run of pieces before the top bead can be placed.

It helps if you understand the game of Nim, or the chess concept of opposition. It's about timing, about leaving the other player with one less move.

It especially helps if you read the rules carefully. Even though Pylos is an easy game to learn, and the rules are brief and succinct, they are also quite dense. The game looks so much like a simple race to the top that it's almost too easy to overlook what the game is really about. It's a strategic game, requiring planning and logic.

There are "advanced rules" when you're ready for them (if you get 4-in-a-row on the bottom level or 3-in-a-row on the next level, you also get to take back one or two of your beads). And of course you can simplify the game by eliminating one of the two square rules (the rules allowing you to move or take one or two beads from the board when you complete a square of your color or a square of mixed color).

Designed by David G. Royffe, Pylos is another well-made, wooden, aesthetically pleasing, casual strategy game in the Gigamic collection, available in the US from Fundex Games. Recommended for two players over the age of seven, it takes about 10-20 minutes to play, maybe 10 minutes to learn. For younger players, making a pyramid out of beads, especially when you have a base that keeps all the beads in one place, is so satisfying, and so much fun, that it might take them a while to get to the beauty of the game itself. When they're ready, they will learn.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Other Resources for Pylos:

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