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MindWare Qwirkle Board Game
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- TACTICAL STRATEGY: Featuring a massive amount of in-game choices, including three tiles each of thirty-six possible color-symbol combinations, Qwirkle is the perfect game to hone player's tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. Will you see the monolithic move that catapults you into first place?
- EASY-TO-FOLLOW RULES: An engaging game with easy-to-follow rules, Qwirkle is great for younger players. The rules of the game are basic: simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points for doing so. However, the ability to build complex combinations will keep children interested and engaged, and challenge them mentally.
- GAMES THAT TEACH: Qwirkle is playable from early ages up, allowing young children and older individuals alike to develop and hone their spacial recognition, planning, and problem solving skills. Plan, win, and learn simultaneously!
- FAMILY FAVORITE: Qwirkle is a fantastic game for families, as it can involve a wide range of ages, from children to adults. It only takes a few moments to explain, so new players such as extended family or your child's play dates can jump right in and play.
- INCLUDES: Product comes with 108 wooden Qwirkle tiles, 1 drawstring bag, 1 rule book.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Featuring a massive amount of in-game choices, including three tiles each of thirty-six possible color-symbol combinations, Qwirkle is the perfect game to hone player's tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. The rules of the game are basic: simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points for doing so. The ability to build complex combinations will keep children interested and engaged, and challenge them mentally. Qwirkle is playable from early ages up, allowing young children and older individuals alike to develop and hone their spacial recognition, planning, and problem solving skills. Great for family game night! Ages 6 and up, 2 to 4 players. Please note: Product contains small parts. Not for children under 3 years old.
An addictive strategy game in the tradition of Sequence, Scrabble, and Othello, the Qwirkle Board Game from MindWare has a simple, straightforward premise: match tiles and win points. But the real joy of the game lies in plotting and scheming your way to victory. Winner of the Parent's Choice Gold Award and a Mensa Select National Competition Winner, Qwirkle is destined to be a family game night favorite. This game is designed for ages six and up and for two to four players.
Mix, Match, Score, and Win
Qwirkle consists of 108 wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players attempt to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The simple setup makes this an instant winner for younger kids, while adults will enjoy strategizing to win.
How to Play
A typical game of Qwirkle lasts about 45 minutes--longer when you're first learning how to play--and players will likely catch on to the rules in no time at all. The game can be set up anywhere, although a large tabletop is best to accommodate the generous number of tiles. The only other thing you'll need is a pencil and paper to keep track of everyone's point count.
Each tile has an illustration on the back (circle, eight-point star, four-point star, square, clover, or diamond). Each of these symbols appears in six different colors (red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple). In total, the game has three tiles each of the 36 possible color-symbol combinations. To help make sure you don't lose any tiles in between games, Qwirkle comes with a drawstring storage pouch.
Straightforward, Easy-to-Follow Rules
As in Scrabble, the game starts with players drawing their own "hand" of six tiles. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. And so it goes until the pieces make up a giant grid. One rule adults will likely need to reiterate to little ones is that duplicate tiles don't count. For instance, if someone has three diamonds, and two of them are green, they can only count one of those diamonds for points.
As play continues and the stakes get higher, younger kids may need some help deciding where to build to maximize their points. Our testers found that the length of the game may make younger kids squirmy halfway through. To keep them engaged, parents can always distribute half the number of tiles to start. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied.
What's in the Box
108 wooden tiles, cloth drawstring bag, and instruction booklet.
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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.
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.
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.