It has been a long time since I did a game review and decided it was time! We played a lot of games this summer and this was a new one for us, although it has been available for over 10 years now!
Qwirkle by MindWare is a game we picked up at our awesome little local toy shop last winter but it sat in a cupboard for a while, which is a real shame because it has become one of my favorite games. It is one of MindWare’s most decorated games having won the following awards:
The game is perfect for 2 to 4 players ages 6 and up. I would say that recommended age is about right mainly due to the strategy and matching up that has to happen. Younger kids might be able to start playing with the tiles and matching colors and shapes, but the strategy aspect will be much harder.
There are several different versions available – Qwirkle, Qwirkle Trio, Qwirkle Cubes and Travel Qwirkle. All versions are played the same way just with a couple of twists. We decided on the travel version since smaller packaging just works better for us although big hands get stuck in the bag so you have to work that out for yourself!
I can’t explain how the game works any better than this video does, so I am putting this right here for you to check out!
I really liked Qwirkle from the get go for a couple of reasons:
- The travel version comes in an awesome little zippered bag that keeps all of the pieces together along with the instructions so I don’t have to worry about things getting lost. You can see how small it is on the right compared to a pack of cards.
- It is a small game making it really easy to pack for all of our adventures. Smaller tiles fit better on smaller tables and that is important for us when we are on the road.
- I like these types of strategy games with colors and shapes because it gets everyone thinking a little differently. This game feels like a combination of so many of my other favorite games: sudoku, Rummikub, and scrabble. It almost felt like a puzzle too as you put lines together. There is an element of building math and language skills which the kids won’t realize! I love that sort of learning!
- It helps with critical thinking. In this day and age we are starting to see a loss of critical thinking and games are such an important tool for that. This game will get those gears turning as you have to keep eyes open for a Qwirkle and need to strategize plays to win!
We spent a huge amount of time playing this game this summer and really enjoyed it. We had 3 generations at the table building lines and Qwirkles, laughing, learning and sharing some nice quality time. Definitely check it out!
One side note: anyone who struggles with colorblindness may have difficulty with this game. Due to the nature of matching either color or shape, this could prove challenging especially for red/green color blindness.