Qwirkle is an abstract tile-playing game that takes the concept of Scrabble and turns it on its head. Instead of forcing you to spell out difficult words with tiles that will send your friends and family scrambling to the dictionary, Qwirkle is played with tiles bearing colorful shapes that you have to arrange in a line. No game board is required with this simple and creative game—all you need is a flat surface and a yearning for a little competition.
High Quality Wooden Game Pieces
As opposed to the bland little brown tile pieces you use in Scrabble, Qwirkle comes with 108 shiny black tiles featuring colorful patterns in various intricate shapes. The delightful game pieces are often one of the most memorable parts of any board game, and Qwirkle delivers in spades. From the whimsical clover to the dynamic eight-point star, Qwirkle’s quirky tiles will be sure to build a beautiful pattern by the end of the game.
Laying The Tiles
Gameplay begins with mixing all of the tiles in the bag and having each player draw 6 tiles at random. Every turn, each player will place one or more tiles on the table to form a row. The rows need to each share one attribute of either color or shape, but not both. For example, one row can consist of clover tiles in different colors, while a different row may be each of the shapes in the color red.
Unlike Scrabble, which forces you to play with the tiles you’ve got before drawing new ones, Qwirkle allows you to spend your turn exchanging the tiles in your hand for new ones. This can end up making the game way more dynamic instead of saddling you with a dud hand for the rest of the game.
Every time you place a tile in a line, you score one point for each tile within that line. If you complete the line with the sixth and final tile, congratulations! You win a 6-point bonus that can jettison you into the lead. An additional 6-point bonus is given to the first person to play all of their tiles once the bag has run out, which is just enough of a boost to keep things competitive until the very last second.
Qwirkle is simple to learn, but definitely gives plenty of opportunity to employ strategy. Blocking other people from continuing a pattern can be just as effective as plotting out your own high score combination. However, the luck-based element of the game will throw a wrench into even the most carefully laid plans. This combination of luck and strategy will keep you coming back to Qwirkle time and time again.
Fun For Families And Non-Gamers
Qwirkle is the perfect game for families and kids of all ages. It’s an excellent game to use to teach younger children about concepts like shape and color matching and counting, while older kids can learn concepts like strategy and planning. Suitable for ages 6 and up, Qwirkle is incredibly easy to learn and will having you playing like an expert within minutes. But just because it’s so simple doesn’t mean that it’s boring—Qwirkle leaves plenty of room for more advanced players to play the long game while novices can enjoy it at the basic level.
Qwirkle is also much more accessible to non-gamers than hardcore games like Catan. Because the rules are so simple, even people who don’t normally enjoy board games can find themselves drawn in for a 30-40 minute game. This dynamic game can join together serious and casual gamers, serving as a gateway game towards more advanced board games.
Walk The Line With Qwirkle
Qwirkle is a simple game with an abstract concept that can appeal to a wide variety of gamers. Its accessibility is where it truly shines, even if that removes a little bit of the complexity of the game for people who are looking for something with a greater challenge. Still, if you’re a visual gamer who likes building intricate patterns and playing with beautiful wooden game pieces, you’ll love the quality that Qwirkle has to offer.