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on January 11, 2014
A lot of people are talking about receiving the game with missing instructions & pouch. Mine was also missing the instructions & pouch. However, I contacted Amazon, and promptly received a replacement along with a free-shipping RMA. To my surprise, the new one was very different.

First, the box is much bigger. It also has different labeling on the front. Most importantly, it seems to be made by different companies. The original smaller box (missing instructions & pouch) is made by Smart Elephant, where the new larger one is made by MindWare. There are also a few other differences in the front. The backs are completely different. I won't detail each difference, but I will post pics showing the differences.

After seeing the pouch and instructions, I don't see how the Smart Elephant version *could* contain the pouch alone, not to mention the pouch *and* instructions. The tiles are such a snug fit in the box, it would have to bulge in order for the folded pouch -- and particularly the draw-strings -- to fit.

And this is even though the bottom-front cover of the Smart Elephant box clearly states "Instructions Included", and the back also lists "1 bag" and "1 instruction booklet" in the list of components. So I'm not sure if this is a counterfeit or if it's just poor production.

Regardless, if you don't get the MindWare version, you should probably contact Amazon for a replacement. If anyone has the Smart Elephant version and it contains the instructions and pouch, please post in the comments.

As for the game itself, I think it's great. It's sort of a mix between Scrabble and Uno, where you have 6 sets of shapes and 6 sets of colors (36 total unique tiles x 3 of each tile = 108 total tiles). When you place a tile, it has to match *either* the shape *or* the color of the set of all adjacent tiles.

You score a point for each tile in any set(s) you create/extend (similar to scoring in Scrabble), plus a bonus 6 tiles for any sets (of 6 colors or shapes) you complete. The set you're creating/extending cannot contain two of the same shape (for a color set) or two of the same color (for a shape set) -- each set has to be made up of 6 or less unique tiles of the same color or shape.

Regarding age, the game is rated for six and up, though it could probably be played by an even younger audience. Of course, younger players may not be able to use strategy to the same level older players can, but most will still be able to have a good time. Our six-year-old actually was able to pull off some pretty clever moves against us (beating the three of us in the end), but at other times, he struggles.

The other thing to take into account is the level of patience some younger players may need while everyone else is trying to figure out their move. It may make sense to play less strategically in the interest of speed to keep their interest. This may be the biggest issue for us, and depending on the mood, a more fast-paced game may be more appropriate.

Regarding quality, the tiles (in the edition as of this writing) are painted wood. We haven't played enough to determine if they will eventually wear, but they seem of good enough quality. The pouch (assuming you get one!) can be used to store the tiles when not being used, as well as being used to draw from during play.
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on March 7, 2017
Great game for all ages. My 8 year old has autism and sensory processing disorder, and this game is fantastic for development and family fun. You can also choose to play as long or short as you want. Tiles are made of wood, good quality.
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on April 26, 2017
This game is really great for family night. My 7-year-old was able to pick it up very quickly and even used a certain amount of strategy. Even my 3-year-old was able to catch on after watching for a bit. Very easy to set up and learn.
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on April 1, 2016
This game is great for family time with younger children around the age of 7 or so. It requires some thinking ahead and how to place the titles. We love to play this game with our family and my daughter is very competitive and has beat us a couple of times with it. One down side is you can only play up to four people, there are not enough titles to really play more than that. Would be great if they made it where more people could play with more titles. Game is fun!
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on November 4, 2017
Fun game...play it with my husband every so often. He really enjoys it because he almost always beats me--I am far better at word games.
But despite how often I lose, we like spending time together doing something other than watching TV. Each game probably takes us between 30-45 minutes, but it would probably be faster if we weren't so competitive.
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on March 3, 2014
The rules for Qwirkle are simple, straightforward, and well explained in the accompanying instruction sheet. Age range is shown on the box as "6 and up". I've played only against other adults, but children could have a great time with this game, either with other kids or with adults who would have adequate patience.

The more compelling thing about this game is the complexity that develops as the game progresses. It's not a mindless game, and it's not just about luck. There is certainly some luck involved, as choices depend on the tiles drawn, but there is significant strategy involved in how best to use the tiles one draws.

Qwirkle is great for travelling; the tiles come in a cloth bag, so you don't need the box, and once you've read the instruction sheet, you don't really need to have it with you. Throw the bag in a suitcase or anywhere available in the car.

There are a couple of caveats about play:
1. You need a flat space, and you'll probably use more space than you expect. The tiles tend to spread, and you'll never know which direction they're going to go. Start in the middle of a card table (or larger).
2. Depending on who is playing and whether or not you decide to impose a time limit on each turn, the more players you have, the longer it is between each person's turn. Depending on the players, this can get testy ... or just more social.

Enjoy the game; most of the times I've played, we didn't even keep score. But for the more competitive, there's plenty of opportunity for competition.
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on May 24, 2017
Great Game! Everyone can play! We recently took it to a beach weekend and was awesome to be able to leave mid game, come back and finish later! I'm a total fan! I prefer the full size over the travel too as the bag for the pieces fits nicely just about anywhere!
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on January 25, 2016
I am always searching for new games to bring to our twice-monthly adult game night, and this was a huge success. No one had played or even heard of Qwirkle before I showed up with it; now I don't dare arrive without it! Has many similarities to Scrabble, as touched on by other reviewers, but doesn't require the dictionary. The more we play, the more cut throat it gets, and much laughter and glee ensues. It's surprising how much thought can go into a game that is comprised by colors, shapes & tiles, but this one truly gets you thinking, not just about your next move but several moves beyond as well. Qwirkle is very easily stored and transportable, thanks to the nice bag provided for housing the tiles; the tiles themselves are a good, durable quality. All you need to play is decent lighting, a solid table, or even the floor. Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying, highly recommended!
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on February 5, 2016
There were so many positive reviews for this game that I just had to buy it to see for myself! I was searching for games which could be enjoyed by people of all ages and which would be able to be played in a very direct, simple manner but also which would allow for the more skilled player who would be utilizing strategy. Qwirkle fits the bill! In addition to being well received by very young children and teens, it has also worked well for as an intergenerational game since it can be played with the goal of matching shapes, colors etc or can be played for points. One feature which I really appreicated - the quality of the playing pieces! Nice thick tiles work well for tiny fingers as well as for older adults who sometimes have difficulty grasping small or thin game pieces. Nicely done, Mindware! I plan to watch and shop for more games from this company.
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on December 22, 2016
Our family and extended family all love Qwirkle. In fact, we love it so much, I just bought two more to give as gifts. The idea is a lot like scrabble but with only colors and shapes, everyone can easily play, including the non readers and spellers. Everyone also loves the idea of delving into the bag to see what new shape and color they pick. I highly recommend this game for families. Challenging and fun for all ages!!
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