Quarriors, the newest 2-4 player game from Wiz Kids,is to many people "Dominion with Dice". The game starts you off with a hand of dice that are a mix of monsters and "quiddity"--the games currency. The player will reach in to their bag and select a hand of 6 random dice to roll. Any quiddity rolled will be used to summon monsters from your active dice or to buy new dice. If your opponents already had monsters out, then you will do battle. Any monsters that you have still alive when your turn comes back around will score points based on the monsters value. Quarriors, as I am sure you can see is an incredibly simple game, but is it incredibly fun?
Gorgeous tin - I loooooove the tin this game comes in. Aesthetically this may be my favorite storage that a game has come in.
Lots and lots of dice - Ok, it has nothing to do with game play nor with the aesthetic of the game...but there is just something cool about getting well over 100 dice in one game!
Expansions should be plentiful - Quarriors seems as though its done pretty well. Further more with the simple dice/card combo they used I imagine expansions will be easy to make. Heck, in the short time it's been out, it has had the first expansion released and another announced. I bet we see quite a few expansions for this game which shore up some of its biggest weaknesses.
Being forced to work with what you got! - I often find myself frustrated in dice games because bad rolls limit your options to the point where you are left with little to no options. While in Quarriors, I may roll the dice and not be able to do exactly what I wanted to do, I still feel like there are viable options in front of me and I just have to puzzle out a way to work with what I got.
Shaking a bag beats the crap out of shuffling cards - I HAAAATE shuffling cards so being able to just toss the dice in the bag, give em a shake and play. LOVE IT!
Ok, the tin is gorgeous...but it is also flimsy - This tin is like hella thin. Whatever material they use, it's amazingly easy to accidentally cave this sucker in. I am scared to take it anywhere because I just know it will get ruined!
The game just needed more monsters and spells - Variety is not the strong point of Quarriors. Even with the Rise of the Demons Expansion and the Quaxos promos, it still feels like there are just not enough monsters and spells. You will find yourself repeating card combos in no time because of this.
Hard to make variants and customs - Not a huge deal, but many gamers(myself included)enjoy making custom materials for their game to expand on the characters at hand. With Quarriors, this will be very difficult since most people do not have the ability to create new dice
One time around the board is not enough - If you play this game by the base rules of scoring to 12, 15 or 20 points, it is simply not enough! The game is reduced to average, at best, when you play this way because it removes many otherwise viable strategies. In our household, we always doubled the score the rulebook calls for and it is a much better game as a result.
Incredibly simple rules - As we said in the opening, you score your guys, roll your dice, summon your monsters, complete battle and buy dice then repeat. The rules are as simple as can be and the rule book does a good job making things clear.
Rolling dice to kill Ryan - Its hard to put this in words but I just get really excited about rolling the dice in this game. I love the feeling of having a great hand and knowing that the dice left in my bag has to be a dragon or another powerful creature/spell because I have used up all my junk dice!
Nice mix of luck to skill - Slightly less true by official rules, but when going twice around the board this game provides the perfect mix of luck to skill for a gamer like me(Ryan still thinks it is a little heavy on luck). I feel that you can come up with viable strategies that beat luck 90% of the time, but there is still enough luck involved to turn the tide.
Several different strategies to win - Again slightly less true when playing by official/one time around the board rules, but when going around the board twice there are a LOT of strategies you can use in this game. I love toying around with different methods of winning. One game I may go for a big powerful group of monsters, while the next game I may keep it small culling (removing dice from the game after you score a monster)less useful dice and making it so I get the same handful of great dice repeatedly.
Its difficult to team up on people - Monsters go around the table and fight EVERYONES monster not just one persons. It makes it difficult in the 3+ player game to team up against 1 player. It is possible, but you have to build a strategy to do it vs whim of the moment deciding to team up.
Very little down time - You rarely wait more then a minute or so for another player to finish their turn.
Fairly fast game - Even with the extra time around the board, we finish a game in 20-30 minutes.
The tin does not easily store the expansion - The tin that the game comes with may be easy on the eyes but it does a miserable job of storing the game and the expansion. If you sleeve your cards you can basically kiss good bye to fitting both the expansion and the original game in to it. By the time a second or third expansion comes out you will inevitably have to come up with a custom storage solution or lug around a ton of boxes.
You have to play with people you trust - Other then the usual dice flipping, there is also the issue of how small these dice are making it hard to see what level monsters are. The level determines the monsters' strength, which depends on your roll...but the dice are so tiny it's impossible to read other players dice.
The scoring board is wonky - Seriously, it starts off going left to right and then switches to right to left. It can lead to scoring headaches if you do not pay attention(or if you let Ryan score!).
A week or so before I wrote this review, I saw a topic at the BGG general gaming forums for the most overrated/over-hyped game of the year. Quarriors seemed to be voted for overwhelmingly. At first, I was really sad and frustrated because it is a game I really love and people were not just voting for it but saying it's shallow and there is no strategy involved in the game at all. Then I realized....we play the game going around the score board twice. I think had we not done this we may have agreed with many of the others; Quarriors one time around the board is just a race to see who can grab a big creature or two and get them out first. I think had we kept playing that way we too would find this to be an average at best game and not understand why others are hyped about it. However, since we made the twice around the board rule I find this to be one of my favorite games! That second lap makes all the difference in coming up with real strategies. Yes, some people still rush for the Dragon and do really well as a result, but I find I beat them far more then they beat me and I do so with strategies that would have never worked going around the board once. Heck, in my favorite strategy I am behind most of the game and only come back in the last few turns; this would never work in the base game! So yes, I give Quarriors a very strong recommendation, but I do it with the caveat that the game is far more enjoyable when you double the score it takes to end the game.
Three Q's can help sum up this game for me: Quantity, Quality and Quiddity. The quantity of dice that you receive in this game is awesome! Instead of building a very large deck, which I have trouble shuffling, I can build a very large hand of dice that I can simply pluck out of my bag. There are so many combinations that can be made with your dice. The quality of the dice is also nice. While we do have some that are not well painted, the actual dice are of nice size and do not feel overwhelming when you are trying to roll 6 at one time, as I have small hands. While I am not a big fan of all of the "Q" words in this game (it's a little gimmicky to me), I enjoy the use of quiddity. I find that there is always something that can be bought (even if it is not something you would REALLY like to take). I also thoroughly enjoy being able to actually beat my hubby at this game! It makes me feel very powerful to kill his weak ghost with my very powerful Quake Dragon that I just happen to get on the fourth turn because of my lucky rolls! The rules are easy to understand, easy to teach and do not need almost any variations to be made. We have found that people are more willing to learn a dice game than cards and can pick this game up relatively easily. This is a definite recommendation for me for anyone!
Note - If you cannot tell from the many, many times we say it in the review, we always play Quarriors twice around the score board. We did play our first few games once around the board and we have played with others that way once or twice, but since then, we have always played twice around the board. While this is the only variant we use (and while it is a small one) it can have a large impact on the game, as we stated above, so we wanted to include this separate note.