With so many exciting, well-thought-out titles around, there is never a reason to play a boring board game. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find one that appeals to beginners and experts, children and adults alike. This game manages to do so.
A key part of this is that the rules are incredibly simple. Each player takes a turn placing tiles next to another that shows either the same symbol (of which there are six) or the same color (also six), but not both. In this way, you can expand the structure and draw some cool patterns, and this visual appeal and simple game mechanics make Qwirkle suitable for children as young as 6.
It gets significantly more complicated once you add in strategic elements, though:
Placing the final tile in a row of six produces a “qwirkle”, which I couldn’t find in the dictionary but probably means something like “Hooray, suckers!”.
In any case, this gives you extra points, as does placing a tile in contact with multiple pieces it matches in some way. Once the 108 tiles are used up and a spider-like pattern covers the kitchen table, the player who has scored the most points wins.
All this may seem a little monotonous compared to Scattergories and Spontuneous, but don’t be fooled. The strategy really is as complicated as you make it – this is an adult’s game that just happens to be suitable for kids.
As such, it has won numerous awards, including from parents’ groups and MENSA. The fact that the tiles are made of wood rather than plastic is a nice touch, as is their generous 1¼” size.
Our only real complaint is that you need to play it in a fairly well-lighted room, or some people may find it difficult to make out some colors (green/blue and red/orange). Other than that, this is a great game for 2 to 4 players that, no doubt, should be in your board game arsenal.