I learned of Qwirkle on Tabletop, a web series about table top games, starring Wil Wheaton and others. First let me just say – really fun series. I’ve watched a few, and dug it.
Qwirkle is a pretty simple game to play, but there’s lots of room for strategy. I thought it would be nice to take on vacation and play with my niece and nephews. It’s a smart game, but doesn’t require a lot of experience-based knowledge, so kids can play pretty effectively with adults. There’s an element of chance, as in Scrabble, as you are dependent on which tiles you draw from the bag. Unlike Scrabble, you don’t need to have a large vocabulary. I thought his game would be especially fun with my oldest nephew, who at 13 is quite smart but has pretty heavy dyslexia. Kid has an awesome vocabulary, but can’t spell to save his life. (Not a big deal, in my opinion. Who really remembers history’s greatest spellers?).
I’m not going to go over all the rules – you can check out the website and the video from Tabletop. This is a pattern creating game, using tiles with colored shapes. The idea is to create lines of either similar shapes or color, getting a point for each tile in a line (including tiles in lines you are just adding to), and an extra six points if you create a line of 6 (called a Qwirkle). Actually, there’s not a lot more rules than that. Just few. So you can “learn” to play in about 45 seconds.
It took about 40 minutes to play – perfect for a short and fun diversion from adults drinking alcohol and listening to bad pop country music.
I suggest you check this game out.