It all started with Wil Wheaton's Tweet about Qwirkle on May 13, 2013: "Turns out Qwirkle is a really fun #Tabletop game." I was intrigued. Time passed, work happened and a flood came, so I forgot about it. Later in the summer, when one of my friends posted a photo on Facebook of her new newly acquired Qwirkle, I remembered. She and her hubby hosted a little games night and I got my chance to try it.
How can I describe Qwirkle? It's like Scabble with colours and shapes. It's also like Sudoku in that a tile can only appear in a sequence once. The object of the game is that you're trying to earn the most points by building tile sequences. The tiles you play must share one aspect in common with the the tile you're connecting it to, either the same colour or shape.
You seek to build as many Qwirkles as you can (worth 12 points each). A Qwirkle is a set of six tiles that share one thing in common (colour or shape). I loved it and set out to buy my own set.
That night, we also played Pandemic. I heard wonderful things about it at GeekMoot and really liked the idea that it's a co-operative game. Sadly, our team during games night wasn't able to save the world from the dreaded Black Disease, so I was itching to try it again and save the world.
Each player has a role, such as Dispatcher, Researcher and Quarantine Specialist. You work together to treat, cure and eradicate disease around the world, but you're constantly fighting epidemics.
We tried two other games that night too: Love Letter and Biblios. The former was all right but the latter is a game I'd like to try again.
A few weeks ago, I set out to buy Qwirkle and Pandemic. Unfortunately, Imaginary Wars didn't have either, but I picked up Labyrinth. It reminds me of the 2D adventure video games, in which you are trying to find hidden treasures. However, it's 3D and you must push a tile into the board to move the tiles around. Sometimes, you wind up in a dead end path and wish that the next player pushes you off the board so you can come in at hopefully a more favorable position.
Then, I went to the Sentry Box. Now, I knew they were big, but I never realized they were THAT big. It's the largest gaming store in all of North America, with over 13,000 square feet of tabletop gaming, models, comics, manga, books, plushies and play space.
I, er...um....bought enough to get the bulk discount:
So far, my family has tried Tsuro, which was featured on Wil Wheaton's show, Tabletop. The rules for this tile-based game are simple: 1 - Last dragon flying, wins. 2 - Follow the path. 3 - Don't crash into other dragons. It's fun to watch that particular episode:
Another new game that we've tried out is Edo. North Americans will say "EE-doh" but the Japanese student in me will pronounce it as it should be ("Eh-doh").
Although it took me a while to weed through the instructions (too much information to digest in one sitting), after a couple of rounds of gameplay, it's becoming one of my fave games. It's like Dominion in the sense that you are building a "kingdom" (er, "daimyo"). It's like Puerto Rico in the sense that you can build, harvest and earn money. Combine that with very well designed pieces - solid construction and aesthetically pleasing - and the Japanese theme and this chibi samuari is hooked.
We will get to the other table games in those bags, but all in good time. I think we'll tackle the award-winning 7 Wonders next, as well as No Thanks.
If you're interested in checking out any of these games, drive past Toys'R'Us and head to a gaming store that specializes in European tabletop games, like Imaginary Wars and Sentry Box. Online, you can purchase Edo, Qwirkle, Tsuro and Pandemic on Amazon. One of my piano families recommend German Games.