I think there’s a mood or time for just about any board or card game I can think of. Some are light and fun, perfect for a social gathering where the focus is less on games and more on talking. Apples to Apples is a good example. There’s what I loosely call middleweight games: think Catan or Carcassone. Heavier on strategy but not requiring laser focus. On the heavy end of that spectrum are games like Scythe or Arkham Horror which are extremely rule-heavy but once learned, the game still has a strong social flare.
Then there’s Quarto. Originally published by Gigames Games, Quarto is a game that will basically let you know, given enough play-throughs, which of your friends is just legitimately smarter than you. This is a ruthless game where you literally have to hand your opponent the winning play. It’s really fun but heavy on the salt. We’ll get to the rules in just a bit but first…
Gigamec Games…A Brief History
Founded in 1991 by three of the six Gires brothers (Stéphane, Ludovic, and Jean-Christophe), Gigamic produces international board games. In only 16 years, Gigamic revolutionized the idea of game objects by combining game content, material superiority, and aesthetics. While Gigamic’s games have international distribution (30 languages are spoken). They are popular globally.
The company’s products have won awards all over the world, and have gradually become classics among specialists (Quarto, Quixo, Quorridor, etc.). In addition, there are plenty of board games for all ages in Gigamic, such as Gigamic Kid, classic, Zoch, Amigo, Drei Magier… and more. Gigamic has gathered about 400 Board game references adapted for everyone up to now.
So while they’ve got a bunch of titles, the one I want to focus on is what I consider to be one of the most intense board games I’ve ever played. Simple in design, few in rules, Quarto requires you to think 3 steps ahead and basically crawl into the head of your opponent.
How To Play Quarto
At it’s core, Quarto is kind of like tic-tac-toe mixed or sequence. The goal of the game is to create a row of four pieces that all share a common factor. The pieces themselves come with a variety of features: tall or short, round or square, dark or light and lastly, either marked with a line or not.
The thing that makes Quarto so weird and awesome and stressful is how the game turns work. On a player’s turn, their opponent picks one of the pieces and gives is to them to play. The board looks like an expanded version of a tic-tac-toe board so there’s an innate familiarity to the game for most people who start to play.
The first couple of turns doesn’t matter so much because until there’s a few pieces down, there’s little strategy to base anything off. But let me tell you, this game intensifies quickly. With every turn, the amount of playable pieces dwindles: there’s an element of “card counting” that becomes important for players who want to have success. By turn four, generally, you and your opponent will be thinking about what’s left as well as the configuration of the board in a hopes of mentally outduelling each other.
Remember, you’re not taking a piece and playing it…no, your opponent is giving you a piece to play. What this means is that, eventually, one of you will have to hand your opponent the piece that wins the game. So not only do you lose, you really have to acknowledge it as you slowly pick up the winning piece…your opponents winning piece…and hand it to them. It’s a salty moment.
Games Other Than Quarto
So maybe my review of Quarto has painted it in too intense a light. I guarantee it is addictively fun but the battle of wits can be a little daunting. Not everyone wants to bash heads and duke it out like that. Well, Gigamec has a bunch of other fun games that are a little more social and far less rage inducing. Here’s a few of my favourites!
Hellapagos is a desert island with few resources where your survivor group washed up. Together, you must build a raft in order to escape. But hurry, a hurricane is gaining speed! Will you be able to handle it? If you fish, you can feed the community. Will you brave snakes and gather wood to build the raft in the jungle? Today, however, is a rainy day, and you’ll need to collect it for drinking water. Perhaps you could swim to the wreckage’s cargo and keep your precious findings for yourself? As time passes, Hellapagos will gain ground on your group and make your friends your enemies. It’s all fair game if you want to survive this unforgiving adventure.
In Wazabi, you only have one goal: Get rid of your dice. However, the game becomes more difficult the fewer dice you have.
Pourquoi? Due to the fact that the dice can be used to give dice to another player, draw cards, or play cards, these cards can be used to remove dice from the game, give dice to another player, draw additional cards, or do a variety of other things. Best of luck!
There are 12 pieces constructed of right-angled blocks, so each piece is composed of 5 squares. The game has a Tetris-like feel. Using the movable divider, one can use even as little as four pieces to make up a 5 block by X rectangle, where X indicates how many wood blocks are in the set.
On a square board divided into 64 squares, two or three players play the strategy game. Each player places a piece on the board in turn. Once a player can no longer place a piece, he or she loses.
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