Board Games

Non-Bookish Saturday Post: Qwirkle

I did not prepare for this post as I usually do, but I did not want to miss out on the series I was doing. My last month’s game was Verdant. I have had a very productive couple of days with regards to my board game hobby, as I have family visiting who like this sort of thing. We worked my way through most of my collection in the past couple of days. This is a lighter one we did not get to, but I thought it was something I could talk about quickly and succinctly.

The first version of this game I bought was for my niece. It was a cube version with large dice, with each side having one of six colours and one of six shapes. At the beginning of your turn, you roll all six of yours. My version is a travel pack, and although not as cool looking, serves its purpose and serves it well.

The tiles, as I mentioned earlier, are one of six shapes in one of six colours. In your turn, you can place a single row or column of tiles to fit with the existing tiles on the floor/table (the first person to begin obviously has to start the whole thing). After a person adds one single row/column to fit in such a manner that it only touches another row/column in which it fulfils one of two criteria. Either a row/column has all the same shape with six colours (no repeats) or all the same colour with no repeated shape. The person to add the sixth at any given time gets a double for that row/column (each tile being essentially one point at any given time – so that turn they will get twelve). This is called a qwirkle. Once a qwirkle is achieved this row or column is obviously effectively dead and nothing more can ever touch it in the future.

A person makes their move, scores and takes tiles back up to a hand of six and it continues. You can form an informal rule as to how far the game can stretch in any given direction. It is fun, quick and for someone like me who likes adding up points, lots of points.

You can carry it anywhere and the floor/table space can be as limiting as you want it to be. If you set score limits, it can be even shorter than average. I like the fact that we are asked to think in different ways, the more you think, the more patterns emerge making it better with every subsequent play! I recommend this to families, even those who like to sneak a little math in for the children.


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