Like every year, the dynasties of the penguins of Giza challenge each other by building the most impressive penguin pyramid in Egypt. In order to do so, they have to pick the most suitable penguins to build their structure while eyeing the goals set by the pharaohs.
They must balance the priority of choosing the best penguins with the strategic impact of the actions they can perform. You don't need dexterity or brute force: the smartest architect will prevail!
- 52 Penguin Cards
- 20 Action cards
- 10 Goal Cards
- 1 Chief Penguin card
- 0 Strength tokens
The youngest player receives the Chief Penguin card.
Each player takes a set of 5 Action cards of the same color. Put the leftover set(s) back in the box, as they will not be used.
Shuffle the Goal cards and draw 3: put these cards face up on the table, visible to all. Put the leftover cards back in the box, as they will not be used.
Shuffle the Penguin card deck and put it on the table. Draw and place face up on the table a number of Penguin cards equal to the number of players.
Example. Setup for 3 players.
Object of the Game
During each round, all players play a card from their hand which determines the turn order for choosing a penguin from those available: the lower the number played, the earlier you choose.
Once penguins are assigned, each player places the penguin they chose in front of them by following certain conditions, building a pyramid as the game progresses and trying to put heavy penguins in each level.
When placing penguins, you should also keep an eye on the Goal cards, as they provide additional ways to score points. At the end of the game, points are assigned for penguins in each pyramid and for matching Goal cards: the player with the highest score is crowned the new penguin pharaoh!
The game lasts 10 rounds.
At the start of each round, reveal a number of Penguin cards from the deck equal to the number of players (you already did this for the first round).
Each player then secretly selects one Action card from their hand and puts it face down on the table: when everyone is ready, the cards are revealed at the same time.
Players then take their turns in the order established by the number on their Action cards: the lowest number goes first, then the second lowest, etc. Ties are broken by starting with the player who has the Chief Penguin (if they are not involved, the closest involved player in clockwise order) and proceeding clockwise.
Once an Action card has been played, keep it face down in front of you to one side: you cannot use it again until you draw it (by playing Action card #4, see below).
Turn Order Example: Luke has played #1, Peter and Michelle both #4. Luke is first, Peter goes second, then Michelle.
During your turn, in any order:
You must take one Penguin card still available from those revealed at the start of the round (i.e., not taken by another player), and place it in your pyramid.
You may carry out the action on the Action card you just played.
Placing a Penguin in Your Pyramid
A pyramid is built starting with the base, and must be built in the following 4-level configuration:
Each Penguin card must be placed in the pyramid following these rules:
You can only place a penguin adjacent to another penguin, or on top of two lower penguins. Exception: You can place your first penguin anywhere on your base level;
The weight of a penguin on a level above your base must be carried by the strength of the arms of the two penguins that lie below it. In other words, the sum of the arm strength of the penguins lying below must be equal to or higher than the weight of the penguin above.
Attention: You must always choose a penguin that you can place in your pyramid, if possible.
Only in the case that you can't (because no legal penguins are available) are you allowed to take any penguin and place it in your pyramid by flipping it to the grey side.
Example: Luke must choose between a 3- and a 0-weight penguin. He can't place the 3 in his pyramid, but he can place the 0, so he must take it.
Performing an Action
The Action card you play determines which action you are allowed to perform:
Take the Chief Penguin card. If multiple players have played this card, follow the clockwise order as usual. The final outcome is that the last player who played this card will keep the Chief Penguin card for the next round.
You may flip one of your penguins to the grey side. You may flip the penguin you take this turn or one you already have, as long as it can still carry any penguin(s) above it.
Before choosing a penguin on your turn, you may exchange one of the available penguins with the top card from the deck. The replaced penguin goes to the bottom of the deck.
Take back into your hand all of the Action cards you have played (including this one).
Take one Strength token. At any time during the game, you can place one or more Strength tokens on the arm of one of your penguins. Each token increases the arm strength by 1.
The Goal Cards
The 10 Goal cards, 3 of which are revealed at the start of the game, show special conditions that allow you to score additional points at the end of the game.
Note 1: For the purpose of the Goal cards, grey is not considered to be a valid color.
Note 2: In case of a tie, for the goal "The pyramid with the most 0-weight penguins: +5 points", all tied players score 5 points.
End of the Game
After 10 rounds, the game is over. Each player tallies their points by adding up:
The weight of their heaviest penguin on each level;
Any bonus points granted by the Goal cards they have fulfilled. Multiple players may score points for the same Goal card.
The player with the highest score wins!
In case of a tie, the winner among tied players is the one with the Chief Penguin card, or the one sitting closest to them in clockwise order.
Example: The score is tallied by adding the value of the heaviest penguin on each floor: 1 + 3 + 2 + 4 = 10, and adding any bonus points from Goal cards: +4 +3 +4 = 11, for a total of 21. Great job penguins!