Every veteran teacher has a well-stocked board game closet for those special days. Nothing’s better than introducing a new game to kids and then watching them become experts within weeks.
Qwirkle is an award winning game that is perfect for all ages. There’s no reading required, just shape and color recognition. Qwirkle’s a 2-4 person game, but we’ve used partners to bring it up to 8 players total. In fact, I’d highly recommend the partner approach, since it adds some nice collaborative strategizing.
Qwirkle is a tile-based game, and each tile has a shape/color combination. There are six different shapes, and six different colors. Here are the six shapes, each one in green:
The goal is to create rows of tiles based on matching either the shape or the color. For example, this combination of tiles could be a row, since they’re all the “diamond” shape:
And here I’ve added onto that, using all orange tiles to connect with the existing orange diamond. Remember, you can match by shape or color.
Much like Scrabble, you only hold a small number of tiles per turn and replenish after you’ve placed them on the board.
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The longer your row, the more points you get. If you put down all six, it’s called a “Qwirkle” and you get a huge bonus. So everyone tries to save the perfect tile combination and form Qwirkles whenever possible.
Of course, you’re playing against other people, and they can build on your rows, so you never want to set up an opponent to get a Qwirkle off of your own work. Here’s a picture of a game in progress. You can see how the rows build on each other, much like Scrabble:
Photo by Benimoto
It’s a blast, because, for some reason, our brains get stuck seeing only colors or only shapes, and we make silly mistakes, setting other people up for big wins.
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