Author: Timo Hutzler

Publisher: Kosmos 2004

Awards: none



G@mebox author Marco Klasmayer writes about the game:


The allmighty pharao Tut-Nur-So has invoked a pyramid building contest. You build with building cards that are laid out steplike. You may also trade with the cards. If you have finished a pyramid, you must decide whether you want to evaluate it or rather enlarge it. Large pyramids are assessed higher than smaller buildings. But if you wait too long you run the risk that thieves get wind of it.



The small game box consists of 90 cards, a simple progress board, a wooden "supervisor" and a theft-dice. The cards consist of values from 1 to 9, jokers, and special action cards. The aim of the game is to build pyramids for the great pharao Tut-nur-so. All 3 or 4 players compete for the best, the highest and the most valuable pyramids. For doing so the building cards with the numbers on them have to be arranged according to the following rules:

  • all cards of a pyramid level / layer have to be of the same value
  • the card values have to increase by one from bottom to top layer
  • each higher layer has at least one card less than the layer beneath

So far the theory, here are some valid simple (textual) examples:


Hey, this looks like a pyramid indeed !

But the players are not allowed to build invalid pyramids:


Ah, now it's clear !

Each player obtains 7 building cards, the residual cards are placed as a supply stack. Three cards of this supply stack have always to be placed face up next to the stack. If it happens during the game that one face up card is taken away, then another card has to be placed there immediately from the supply stack.

A player on turn can perform four actions in this order:

  1. Evaluate one of his own pyramids (optional).
  2. Take one card: From the supply stack OR one of the three visible cards
  3. Trading and building phase, also play special cards.
  4. Fill up or reduce the hand cards up to 7.

Phase 1 means that a player evaluates one of his own pyramids, and afterwards all cards of that pyramid are placed on the discard stack. A pyramid counts this way: Only the first cards of each row are added and the sum is multiplied with the number of total rows. For instance example b) above counts (3+4+5)*3 rows = 36 points. Each player notes his scores on a piece of paper. Phase one is optional. You should be careful of not waiting too long, otherwise a thief may steal the one or the other card until your next turn.

In Phase 2 the player gets one new card, which he can use immediately in phase 3.

In Phase 3 the player can trade his hand cards with all other players, place building cards and extend his pyramid(s) or play special action cards. All of theses actions during this phase can be done in arbitrary sequence and iterations.

Hence each player tries to build valuable pyramids consisting of many layers and with high value building cards. But this would be boring, if there were not the special action cards:

  • The thief-card: It allows the player to steal an arbitrary card from an opponent's pyramid (role the thief-dice to determine success).
  • The tax-card: It allows the player to collect taxes from all the other players (draw one hand card).
  • The pharao-card: You earn the goodwill of the phararo and he intervents for you against the effect of the above two cards.
  • The joker-card: It may act as any number card in your pyramid, but it can be replaced by any other player on turn by an appropriate number card.

The marker on the progress board is moved on each time a pyramid is evaluated. First all players can only build one pyramid at a time. As the marker advances there is the possibility to build two at a time later on or only pyramids with three or more rows count and so on. The game comes to an end when the marker reaches the last space. Then a special pharao-celebration-card is mixed into the supply stack. The game continues normally but when this card is drawn the game really ends.

If it ever happens during the game that the supply stack is empty the discard stack is shuffled and becomes the supply stack again.


This game comes in a small handy box, is basically a card game and has a very delightful design. Although the rules are simple the game nevertheless reveals its fun. It is a kind of trading-building-stealing game which bears its fun in the very nice card design and little tricks you can do. In my opinion it is not designed for planners, because your hand cards are changing rapidly that you cannot plan longer in advance than the next move. The little risk you have to figure out is when the best point of time of evaluation of your pyramid is. When you wait too long, one of your opponents might send you a thief. If you evaluate too early, your pyramid is not valuable and you will loose scores. But only valuable pyramids are attractive for a thief… This games gets a high score in my evaluation, for it is really nice too play, especially when you don't have the time for hours of strategic games. The rules work well, even if you play it with only two players. This is not recommended because more players add more spice to the game but you can play it nevertheless with two players as well. Although you will just get an impression of what will happen to your pyramid if three opponents are on turn before you can act again.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany