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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Keepin' it Qwirky in Fletcher Place

Today's brain game of choice is Qwirkle, and we returned to the awesome Calvin Fletchers Coffee Company where we thoroughly enjoyed more breakfast sandwiches and coffee!  Qwirkle is an abstract strategy game based on pattern building and hand management.  The idea is to create the longest row of blocks from a single attribute (either single shapes or a single color, but not both).  Players begin the game with six blocks.  The active player places a block with a single matching attribute on the table.  The next player adds more blocks adjacent to at least one previously played block.  All blocks must be played in a row and match without duplicates, either the color or shape of the previous block.  
Players score one point for each block played plus all blocks adjacent.  As the game progresses and more blocks are placed down, these blocks can enhance the players score by connecting with other adjacent blocks in multiple directions.  One thing the players need to consider during gameplay is that there are 3 cubes of each type.  Keeping this in mind while looking at the cubes in front of you is an important strategy to use because it can definitely change the way each person decides to execute their actions.  After each turn, no matter how many blocks are placed down, the players will randomly draw back up to 6 blocks at the end of their turn.  If players complete a row of all six individual shapes or colors, they announce the word, "Qwirkle!" and receive a score of 12 points in that turn (1 point for each block, plus a 6 point bonus).  The game ends after the draw bag is depleted and one player plays all of his remaining blocks, earning a six point bonus.  After adding up all of the scores, whoever has the highest wins!  Qwirkle has great potential to significantly increase attention, concentration, memory, speed of visual and auditory processing.  This game has actually been used in testing procedures for people who suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia.  It looks like a colorful game only designed for kids, but in fact, this game carries a lot of tactical influence to it that can be executed in multiple brilliant ways.
This is a look at the end of our game after the draw bag is depleted and all of our cubes have been used.  Claire and I have played this game many times over and due to the diverse approaches that can be done and mechanics of the game, Qwirkle has some pretty decent replay-ability.  Probably one of the greatest aspects of Qwirkle is that it does work well between such a broad range of age groups.  I would anticipate that most kids around the age of 10 would excel quite well at a game like this and definitely a group of adults as well.  Claire and I really love Qwirkle and if you like abstract games, you should absolutely consider this one for your gaming circles and family members.

Qwirkle
Overall Meeple Rating: 6.5/10


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