with larger vocabularies are naturally at an advantage in Quarrel,
though there are other strategies that come into play. As players spend time
with the game they will start to recognize the ways certain letters often work,
particularly when trying to make the eight-letter anagrams. Common prefixes,
suffixes and combinations of letters start to stick out. An S, for example,
automatically thrusts certain options into play. Learning to manipulate these
letters is important both when anagram-hunting and when building shorter words.
point values assigned to each tile become important too. When players only have
four or five letters to work with, higher-scoring tiles become vital when
building a word. On the other hand high-point tiles are usually harder to place
then more common letters. Players are also at an advantage if they complete
their word before their opponent does, meaning players that can quickly scan
their letters and add up point totals will succeed more often. In this way Quarrel
has players working with mathematics more than many other games.
Creativity & Imagination
By the Player:
aren’t given much creative freedom here, except when it comes to forming their
words. This might not sound like an area where creativity would be an
advantage, but as it turns out a group of eight letters often has dozens of
words hidden in it. Common suffixes and prefixes will quickly stick out to
players, but it’s the game’s own liberal vocabulary that allows real creative
room. It is sometimes advantageous to go with things that might be words rather
than sticking to concrete knowledge. Adding suffixes, trying strange
pluralizations or testing out unconventional spellings can often lead to
By the Developer:
is a simple but fairly ingenious combination of different games. The
word-building of Scrabble - and more recently the very popular Words With
Friends - is here, but in a much more fast-paced setting, and it’s combined
with light strategy elements from other popular games. The wealth of solo game
modes is a welcome surprise, but it’s in the multiplayer mode -which offers the
unique thrill of trying to find an anagram before your opponent - that the game
game also offers a colorful, cartoony aesthetic and an accompanying soundtrack
that compliment the game’s playful style and is meant to appeal to the more
casual audience that Scrabble-style word games are often targeting.
and subtracting points is key at any given moment when building a word, and it
also comes to play in a broader sense when moving and reinforcing armies on the
game board. Because having one or two troops more than your opponent is a
significant advantage, having a well-defended space in a key section of the
board is often vital. Players also gradually unlock bonus reinforcements, which
allow them to drop one extra soldier in any given battle, and these can easily
flip the odds between evenly-matched players. Saving them to use at the right
moment is key.
borrows some of the strategic depth of board games like Risk, where players
have troops situated in different territories of the game board. Quarrel’s
boards are much simpler than Risk’s, but the same ideas apply when players
start to gain footholds on certain spaces.
may not be able to reach a weakened opponent because of a much stronger one set
up between them, for example.
will often have to decide how to disperse their troops near the end of a turn.
Having the maximum of eight troops on a space can be a huge advantage, but it
also often requires players to leave their other territories sparsely
populated, which can be a liability depending on the situation. Strategies will
reveal themselves during a round, and players that can read them will have an
advantage. It may even be in a player’s best interest to allow a weakened
opponent to remain in the game if he acts as a buffer between a stronger foe.
are given eight letters at a time, and there is always at least one anagram in
there that uses all of them. These are obviously the ideal moves, but can be
hard to find, and in any case players need to have eight troops on a space -
the maximum, and not always easy to collect - to take advantage. Instead the
challenge is often to quickly scan the letters to find the key high-scoring
tiles and figure out how to use as many of them as possible. In a tie the
victory goes to the player who punched in his word first, giving each battle a
frantic pace alongside a strategic depth, especially against other human
are other mechanics to the game that involve earning bonus points that eventually
award reinforcement troops, and moving between the spaces on the board can lead
to strategic advantages as well. These concepts give the game more depth,
though they are ultimately secondary to the game’s word-building challenges.
not a simulation game.
has received largely positive reviews that praise its combination of
elements from popular games and fast-paced mechanics. Its low five dollar price
point and wealth of content were also singled out by many publications.
Controls & Options
a few very basic options are available. Players can use USB keyboards instead
of Xbox controllers in order to enter their words more quickly.
was rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB with a descriptor for Fantasy Violence.