News Release


Next Generation Game Set To Debut at Philcon Sci-fi Convention

COLLEGE PARK, MD NOV. 11 -- With a retro-futuristic gaming party, Looney Laboratories will release Andrew Looney's latest game product, ICEHOUSE: THE MARTIAN CHESS SET, on Saturday at the Philcon Sci-fi Convention, Adam's Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, from 2 in the afternoon until well into the night.

After a decade of test marketing and refinement, the ICEHOUSE release will be celebrated at Looney Labs' hospitality suite with demo games and free Pop-Tarts. ICEHOUSE was listed on Games Magazine's GAMES 100 in 1993, but has never before been brought to large-scale production. The re-released ICEHOUSE set is an updated version of the original product, with better pieces and more games than ever before.

Priced at $29.95, the four-color injection-molded plastic set of 60 gem-like pyramids includes the rules for four completely different abstract strategy games, for 2-4 players ages 12 and up: IceTowers, a turnless game of pyramid stacking, played on any flat surface; Martian Chess, a color-blind capturing game played on a chessboard; IceTraders, an epic game of interstellar conflict between space fleets; and Zarcana, a strategically rich territorial conquest game played with a standard tarot deck. Rules for additional ICEHOUSE-based games are available free on the Looney Labs website (

First conceived as an imaginary game in one of Andrew Looney's works of fiction, the ICEHOUSE set caught the imagination of many of his readers, who urged him to create a real-life version of the game. Together with some of his friends, Looney went into the business of making games, and they created handmade ICEHOUSE sets in small print runs, experimenting with plastic, cardboard and wood. But manufacturing the custom-designed game pieces was difficult and costly, and the project spent several years on the back burner.

Driven by the success of Looney Labs' card games Aquarius (1998) and Fluxx (1997), winner of the 1999 Mensa Mind Games Award, Looney Labs was finally able to mass-produce the unique game pieces. The new game sets represent the achievement of a long-dreamed of vision, which fans around the country have been eagerly anticipating for years.

Founded in 1996, Looney Labs, a tiny family-run business in College Park, MD is an internet-based new-product development studio designing games and other gift products. Along with Aquarius, Proton, and the award-winning Fluxx, Looney Labs publishes a wacky weekly webzine ( with almost three thousand pages of games, stories, poems, photos, cartoons, and essays, and runs, an online source for cool games published by game-inventing entrepreneurs, with a secure e-commerce gift shop.

For more information about Icehouse or Looney Labs, please contact Kristin Looney via Voice: (301) 441-1019, Fax: (301) 441-4871, email:, Web:, or Mail: PO Box 761, College Park, MD 20740 USA.


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