A board game without all those pesky boards
The iPhone and iPad have turned a lot of people into board game fans. With the lack of physical pieces to keep track of, and the guarantee you’ll pretty much always have someone to play against, the barrier to entry has never been lower. MindWare and Square Enix are looking to hop on the hype train by bringing Qwirkle, winner of 2011’s Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year award in Germany), to iOS, Android, and Facebook.
Qwirkle is a game of strategy, but also one that takes no longer than a few minutes to understand. The object of the game is to place your tiles next to the tiles that share either the same color or symbol on the growing playing field. If you manage to line up six of the same type, you’re awarded additional points. The game continues until all tiles are used up, and a player unloads all of the tiles in their hand. Envision all of this happening on a screen, and you have a pretty solid idea of how this new version will play.
In true social spirit, players will be able to pick up and continue their game from multiple devices. Your friends will have no excuse to delay taking their turns, short of being too far behind in score to ultimately win. The good news is they won’t be able to throw the tiles in a fit of anger.
The adaptation of Qwirkle for mobile and social platforms has resulted in Qwirkle Points, a system that provides achievements as well as currency towards purchasing power-ups and new game boards. I’m a little unsure if Points can be purchased by players, given that they’re linked with achievements, but we’ll have an answer to that pretty soon.
Qwirkle arrives this summer, just in time to give people something to do while they wait for their meat and veggies to grill. Personally, I can’t wait to challenge my mom to a game, promptly defeat her, and tell her that’s what she gets for making me play tee ball.