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Qwirkle Board Game
Size: None|Color: Multicolor|Change
Price:$20.66+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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 August 9, 2015
I have been enlightened. Throughout my childhood and for the majority of my adult life I was resigned to the notion that the board gaming landscape was sparse and barren. Populated only by a few unenticing, played out old names like Life, Scrabble and Monopoly (Which to this day, I'm certain has never seen a match played to completion). However, my eyes were opened by a new wave of innovative, engaging titles like Pandemic, Small World, 7 Wonders and many more. I've been a true believer and tabletop enthusiast ever since. Alas there is one big problem... Most people I know have the same narrow minded approach to board games as I once did. It just isn't easy to get a group together. The heavy fantasy and sci fi themes of my favorite games only serve to compound that difficulty as it seems to create an illusion of complexity and carries with it the stigma of intense nerdiness. I can see the eyes start to glaze over when I attempt to broach the subject. Whatever shall I do?

Enter Qwirkle! This game relies on such a simple concept of matching colors and shapes that it would be easy to dismiss this as something childish, certainly beneath that of any respectable gamer. But that is the beauty of it. It dumps the polarizing themes that tend to put newcomers off and the rules are so straightforward that the game can be explained in just a few sentences. What little confusion one might have is usually resolved within a couple of turns and suddenly a world of strategy begins to unfold as you subtly try to mislead, block, and steal combinations from the clutches of your beloved opponents. It is truly a wonderful tool for family bonding and better still, it serves as a gateway game to pull loved ones into the world of table top games.

That was my fiendish plan all along and the reason I even bought this game to begin with. With little effort, I was able to coax my niece, dad and step mom to give it a try. The result was a super fun evening of laughter and surprisingly stiff competition. I narrowly secured a victory with my last move and that alone is a testament to the excellent game design. The game was so captivating and easy to learn that there was virtually no handicap for newcomers. If you would like to dip your toes into board games or perhaps coerce a particularly resistant individual to give them a try, I cannot recommend Qwirkle enough.
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on January 25, 2017
This is a fake!!! Missing bag and various, package was damaged, misspelled word. Ordered for $19.99 & today it says it's $32.99. Game is by MindWare and the box says Smartelephant. See photos
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on December 22, 2017
My wife and I were introduced to this game by a friend of ours. We were 'hooked' in no time. We invited other friends over to play and one of them made the purchase on her cell phones while she was playing. It's really fun, challenging, and addicting. The red and orange colors are a little difficult to differentiate as are the blue and green colors. We got a sheet of small 1/4" sticky labels to affix to the tiles and wrote 'R', 'O', 'B', and 'G' on them. That helped tremendously.
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on June 21, 2017
Oh how I love this game! My son and I have over 25 board and card games as part of our homeschool effort. In poor weather we often play 3 games a day. This one is a particular favorite of mine because my 6 year old can play with a bit of help, but we will be able to play this at any age. Also, from a homeschooling perspective, letting my son keep score is a great way to have him practice writing numbers and doing addition without realizing he is learning. I think the box is absolutely enormous and the game is too heavy for us to take anywhere, but this is a frequently reached for game in our house. If you are looking for games with some substance (I hate 90% of the garbage games sold in discount stores) this is a sure bet!
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on November 26, 2009
I was trying to find a game to play with a client who has dementia and ran across this in an article. After I bought it I tested it out with my kids (25, 24, 19 and 11) and myself (47). We had so much fun!! It is one of those games that can be played at different levels. We started getting quite inventive on where and when to play to maximize our points and block our opponents.

I then played with my client. She and I did not keep score. We just made the chains with either shapes or colors and added wherever she first recognized a play. No trying to strategize where to build for future etc. We also played with both of our tiles up so we could talk about the best places to play. She likes this game and actually remembers having played before and wants to play again. The 'rules' have to be re-learned but the fun remains.

For one more note, we had a group of my daughters friends over and four of us played Quirkle. They were all 19 - 22. That got pretty cutthroat <lol> They all want to play again.

I HIGHLY recommend this game. I think I'm going to buy a 2nd one so more than 4 can play together (We played with 5 first night and it does work too).
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on October 14, 2017
The tiles are excellent quality. The bag is excellent quality. The game is simple and easy to play. So why am I giving this 4 stars? Because the design of the Box is not well-thought-out. Original packaging have all the tiles shrink wrapped. They fit tightly in the box with the bag and instructions compressed under them.

I soon realized there was a design flaw in the box. After the game is opened, the box is useless. There is a hole in the top of the box so you can see the tiles. However there is no plastic guard to prevent tiles from falling out and you can't close the bagin the box. See included pictures,

So I have to keep the instructions in the bag and thow away the box. It is a shame, but at least the bag and tiles are well constructed.
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on October 9, 2015
My 5 and 8 year old grandchildren love this game. It's a great way to teach matching colors and shapes. I actually bought a second set so we can build a great big design. One set is for the coffee table, but two sets are for the dining room table! After we are done the kids like to get our their little Leggo people and the Qwirkle design become a fantasy world for the kids. This is fun for the kids and me. Also, it keeps them entertained for a very long time! I've attached a couple of photos.
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on August 23, 2016
Love, love, love this game. We found it in a lodge one weekend when we'd forgotten to take our usual games--Scrabble, Mexican Train and Rumikube. It took us a while to learn how to play it, even though there were instructions in the box. Ordered it as soon as we got home. We referred to the pictures in the instructions for weeks and misinterpreted them every way possible. During this hot Arizona summer, we have played it morning and afternoon every Saturday and Sunday instead of doing brutal yard work. Goes well with late afternoon cocktails!

This is a strategy game simple enough for children and complex enough for adults. One can play offensively or defensively with different outcomes for each approach. Partially cooperative with opponent or completely disruptive. We have never played with more than the two of us. Each round takes about 30 minutes. We usually play three rounds at a go.

(The bag that came in the game will hold all the tiles but is a couple inches too small for mixing the tiles. We tried lots of different ways to mix the tiles until we settled on mixing in a small shopping bag--smaller than a grocery tote. Not a big enough issue to deduct a star.)
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on December 29, 2015
I have a notoriously picky, highly competitive family when it comes to our holiday board games, and they all love this game! It is easy to learn and great fun, and no two games ever go the same. It's got the gameplay and strategy elements (and scoring) of Scrabble, with the simplicity of dominoes. My family ranges from kids to seniors, and everyone had to have a turn playing Quirkle this year.

There are no complicated instructions (more than half the instruction book that comes with it is a sample game), and once it's out of the box, it comes with a drawstring bag to store the tiles in. Other than that, the only things you need to play are a table (floor, counter, or any flat surface) and notepad and pencil to keep score, so this would be great if you are looking for something portable.

Highly recommended!
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