Editions Smile is launching their new speed observation memory game, Qwarks Wanted on Kickstarter! This is their second game of that type, with its predecessor being Qwarks which successfully came to life through Kickstarter. I had a chance to get and try an early copy of the game and here are my thoughts of this colorful little game.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid review
Qwarks Wanted is a dexterity type game where you will use your observation and memory skills as well as your speed. The game comes with two types of games, one for kids and one for probably bigger ages, as it’s more complex.
Qwarks are sensitive and cute elementary particles. Two types of Qwarks exist, these with multiple tentacles and only one eye and these with multiple eyes and no tentacles. As a Qwark hunter, you will go after the most valuable sets of Qwarks, beating these newbie hunter rivals!
Qwarks Wanted is a dexterity game where your speed and memory comes to play. During the game, you will claim cards and be rewarded with points according to some conditions. Observation and sharp reactions will make you prevail. After a player reaches 10 or more points, the game is over.
There are some basic concepts and information that you need to know about the game:
- All cards depict exactly 3 Qwarks. There are 6 different colors of them and the number of tentacles/eyes is up to 5 (there isn`t a Qwark with only 1 tentacle).
- In each card, there are either 2 Qwarks with only one eye – multiple tentacles and 1 Qwark with multiple eyes – no tentacles and vice versa. In the first case, these Qwarks make a Prooton and in the latter, they make a Nootron(2 with no tentacles, 1 with tentacles).
- Qwarks also either a smile or pout.
- Criterion Cards is a type of card that depicts a condition. For example, the card in the photo below indicates that all cards with at least a Qwark with exactly 2 eyes satisfy the condition.
To start the game, you have to make two face-down piles. One with the Qwark cards and one with the Criterion cards. Deal 2 Qwark cards to each player, face down, and open 4 criterion cards face up. These conditions will be the eligible ones for the round, what you are going for. Lastly, open the top Criterion card of the deck, this will be the only condition you have to avoid, the forbidden one!
The flow of a Round
Phase 1: The Hunt:
To start the round, all players simultaneously place their two cards face up in the middle of the play area. As the cards are revealed you will search for the card that satisfies the most Criterion cards and not the forbidden Criterion card. When you find a card that you feel comfortable about, place your hand on it, covering the art. This way you claim the card and only one card can be claimed by each player. This happens simultaneously and in real time until one player with no claimed card is left. That player still has 3 seconds to choose a card!
Phase 2: The Checking:
Now it’s the time to check what each player’s score will be. Starting with the first player claiming a card, they have to call how many of the active conditions their card satisfies. Then, there are two possible scenarios:
- The card satisfies the named Criterion cards and not the forbidden one. In that case, the player scores 1 point for each condition.
- The card doesn`t depict the condition of one or more called Criterion cards and/or depicts the forbidden condition. In that case, the player scores 0 points!
After all, players score you get ready for the next round by discarding all active cards, dealing new Qwark cards and revealing new Criterion cards.
The game ends when at least one player has 10 or more points. Whoever has the most points is the winner of the game!
Difficult & Color Blind modes
There are two options included in the game. The first one for colo-blinded players to have no issues while playing the game. To do that you just have to remove the 6 Color Criterion cards and you are ready to play! The second mode is for more experienced players, to add a layer of difficulty. Remember the Prootons and Nootrons? In difficult mode, you have to successfully call the type of -ton that your card creates in order to score it!
Qwarks Wanted Junior!
This is essentially an alternate way to play, for younger players, but this doesn`t mean that everyone can have a challenging and fun time in this mode!
Here, the back side of the Qwark cards has a gameplay impact. Each card has a specific Qwark on its back.
About Qwarks Wanted
This is a light dexterity card game, a cute filler. You will train your observation skills, memory, speed, and quick thinking! It’s easy to learn, fast to play and 100% portable. As the game is quite simple I believe you can tell if its the game for your collection or not. I personally love this style of games and enjoyed its approach in the genre.
The right mood to play the game
Being in a positive, happy and exciting mood is the best in my opinion. These type of games need you to have a clear mind, a lot of energy and playfulness! Your brain muscles are stretching, the adrenaline rush is coming along with some shouts and people getting on their feet (I’m that person). The game is thinky in its own way but it’s not the type of game that will let you sit and play calmly. Being in the right mood always elevates the gaming experience!
Who is this game for?
You should already know if that’s the right one for you, but if you are skipping the review here are some thoughts. If you like dexterity style games that require speed and are quite frenzy this cute game will fill a spot for you. The interesting thing is that it not only requires speed and observation like most games on the genre but it also needs your memory. I personally love memory games but even if you don’t it won`t be a problem as it’s just a small part of the game. It’s perfect for all ages and type of players as it’s easy to learn and play. Portability is a plus and it’s aesthetics makes it a great choice for younger people.
Make sure to check it out on Kickstarter and support it if it’s the right game for you!