Black ICE

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Black ICE
Andrew Looney
The 3HOUSE game of computer cracking
Min. Players: 2
Max. Players: 2
Icehouse stashes: warning.png“” is no number.
Treehouse sets: 3
Other equipment: cloth bag
Setup time: 1 minute
Min. Playing time: 5 minutes
Max. Playing time: 10 minutes
Rules complexity: Low
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: High
Primary Mechanic: Discovering codes underneath opaque pyramids
Additional Mechanic: none
Theme: Computer hacking
BGG Link: Black Ice


Black ICE is a Mastermind-like game by Andrew Looney. Two players take turns rolling 3 Treehouse dice and performing actions that correspond to the crests on the dice. The goal is to ultimately discover what color pawns are hiding under the three opaque queens. The full rules are at the Looney Labs site.

The game is noteworthy for several unique mechanics, specifically its use of opaque pyramids. The concept of hiding information under black, white, or grey pyramids has been long discussed, but few games actually make use of this possibility.

Black ICE (originally known as Secret Project 3H-1) was designed for the express purpose of being published in the 3HOUSE rules booklet. It was officially unveiled at Origins in July 2007 along with the release of 3HOUSE.

Simple Variants

  • Although originally designed for three Rainbow Treehouse sets, Black ICE can be made more complex by adding a fourth, or even a fifth set. The number of locks and the number of pyramids in each keychain are increased accordingly.
  • Additional colors of codes can be added, with pyramids in the same quantities as the first four.
  • The number of Treehouse dice can be changed. Two dice makes the game more challenging; one die makes it problematically slow. Adding dice makes the game faster, but it will collapse with more dice than keys.

External Links

Featured in 3HOUSE
Black ICE
Martian Chess
Binary Homeworlds
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