Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Circles, Stars, and Diamonds (Qwirkle)

Shapes have rained down upon the board, and connections come and go as easily as the tide.  You move this way and that, hoping to find a connection that other have missed, that will give you the points to take the lead.  That is what you find, that buried in the board is just what you hoped to find: A Qwirkle.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Qwirkle is a tile based game for 2 to 4 players.  The object of the game is to match similar tiles of color and shape and have the most points at the end of the game.

SET-UP:  Each player begins with a hand of 6 tiles that are kept secret from the other players.  All other tiles are kept hidden either face down or placed into a bag as the 'deck'.  Turn order is decided by whomever has the longest set of tiles of either matching color of all different shapes, or matching shapes with all different colors.  No tiles matching the exact shape and color may be counted.  The first player begins by playing their longest set face-up in a row or column.  The player turn ends, and is given 1 point per tile.  All players must draw from the 'deck' so their hand is back up to 6 tiles.

Image result for qwirkle

PLAYING:  The next player may play any amount of tiles that share either a color or shape to the current tiles on the board in any 1 direction.  No tile may repeat in color and shape in any line, and plays must be played only in 1 direction.  Points are then given to the player, with 1 point per tile played, as well as 1 point per tile from the connected line.

EXCHANGE:  If a player cannot or does not wish to play, they may instead trade any non-zero amount of tiles into the 'deck'.  This action ends their turn.

QWIRKLE:  If any player manages to make a line of 6 tiles on their turn, they get a Qwirkle, and a 6 point bonus on top of their current points.

ENDING:  Play ends when a player successfully plays all their tiles when the 'deck' is empty, preventing the players from refilling their hands.  The first player to do so will gain a 6 point 'Finish First' bonus.  All points are then tallied, and the winner is the player with the most

CONCLUSION:  Qwirkle is a simple game that can be played by most people.  Kids can play it because it isn't limited by reading, just colors and shapes.  Most adults can play it because it is incredibly simple, if restrictive to certain types of color blindness.  The barrier of entry is pretty low, making it a great game to introduce to people who don't play a lot of tabletop games outside of stuff like Dominoes, Monopoly, and Scrabble.  I can definitely recommend this game for those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.

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