Gridlock - an abstract strategy game for Icehouse pieces (4 player).
Designed by Andrew Looney of Looney Labs.

  • Required pieces
  • Give each person a full set of Icehouse pyramids of a single color.
  • Select a starting person at random.
  • Select an initial position of the token - not the starting person
Placement Phase
  • During the first phase of the game, players take turns placing a pyramid of their choice somewhere on the chessboard.
  • The pyramids are placed in an upright position until all pieces have been played
Drop Phase
  • Each player will choose a piece of their color that is still standing and "drop" it - knocking it over so it is pointing away from the player.
  • After a piece has been dropped its color is no longer significant.
  • When a piece is dropped, it re-orients one or more pieces immediately in front of it to the direction it is pointing.
    • Small pieces re-orient the piece
    • Medium pieces re-orient two pieces
    • Large pieces re-orient three pieces
  • Only previously dropped pieces can be re-oriented
The Token
The token allows you to skip your turn. Whoever your turn comes up, if you have the token, you can pass it in the direction of play instead of playing. However, two turns in a row may not be skipped - you cannot skip your turn if you were just passed the token.
The object is to end up with the most chains of pieces pointing in your direction as possible. A single piece pointing in your direction is worth 1 point. However, having 4 pieces in adjacent squares that all point in your way is worth 8 points.

Points = 2length-1
A chain across the entire board (length 8) is worth 128 points.

  • <, >, ^, v: dropped pieces pointing in various directions
  • s, m, l; S, M, L: Standing pieces owned by two different players

Dropping a piece

turn 1 -> turn 2 -> turn 3 -> turn 4
s S s     s S s     s S s     s S s
s < m     s ^ m     > > m     < < <
m l L     m ^ L     m ^ L     m ^ L

Original rules at: