Suggested Ages: 14+
Play Time: 30 mins
Play Style: deck-building
Learning Curve: Low
Similar To: Dominion, Magic: the Gathering
Links: Board Game Geek
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Quarriors! is a fast-paced, lightweight “dice-building” game. Players roll dice to summon creatures, cast spells and gain Quidity to acquire more dice. The style is a sort of cartoonish fantasy. This is a great game for limited time or between other games, or go a few rounds for a full experience. The mix of strategy and randomness makes it more inviting, but could annoy more serious-minded gamers.
Players begin with eight Quidity dice and four Assistants, the weakest of creatures, and a dice bag. The Wilds are dealt out, a set of three cards used in every game with their dice beside them. Then three spells and seven creatures are dealt to the Quarry. The Quarry and Wilds are common areas all players can gain or remove dice to and from. Since the Quarry is dealt randomly each game, it opens a lot of variation.
Each turn the active player rolls six random dice from their bag. Some dice grant Quidity, the resource used for all other actions. Some dice come up as creatures, which cost Quidity to summon. Some are spells, which are free to use. Spells can be cast instantly, attach to a creature or saved for later, depending on the spell. Creatures and spells often have special rules. The cards in the Quarry and Wilds list all special abilities, as well as all six faces of their respective dice. This makes it much easier to quickly assess the value of a given creature or spell.
When a creature is summoned, it attacks the other players’ creatures with its attack number on the die. The other creatures defend with their defend number. Multiple creatures combine their numbers. The defender must choose the order of creatures defending. If the total attack is greater than the first defender, it dies and the remaining attack value goes on to the next defender.
When it gets back around to a player’s turn and they still have creatures in play, the creatures are scored for Glory and discarded. The player also has the option of removing dice from their pool and returning them to the Quarry or Wilds. This is handy for removing weaker creatures like Assistants to ensure the newer powerful creatures get drawn more often. The winning number of Glory changes depending the number of players (handily marked on the Glory track). First to the magic number wins!
I like more strategic fare, and Quarriors! does not disappoint. The randomly dealt Quarry added a lot to the experience. I admit it occasionally frustrated me when a favorite spell wasn’t drawn, but honestly that improves the replay to me since I’d need to learn new strategies.
The real magic is just the tactile feel of grabbing a bunch of dice and rolling them. The etched faces feel great, and there’s a lot of satisfaction shaking up the suede bags. I also really appreciated the cards showing all six faces of their respective dice. The dice are on the small side, so those with poor eyesight might struggle distinguishing some 1’s and 2’s. I had to take a close look on some, especially portal dice, where the number is inside a fairly dense swirling icon.
The only downsides to me were the sometimes too-heavy randomness of die-rolling, and that games sometimes feel a couple of turns too short. I’ve heard it suggested to always play to the 4-player Glory count of 20 instead of the lower numbers for more players. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like a good fix. More rounds would also lessen the impact of the random rolls, since more rolls means things will have more time to head toward averages.
All told, Quarriors! is a very satisfying, quick game for 2 to 4 players. It hits on the primal pleasure of dice-rolling, lavishly colorful artwork, and just enough interaction between players to stay engaging. All my games were peppered with playful banter and good humor, and I think Quarriors! had a lot to do with that.
Quarriors! is $36.99, and we have a demo copy at the store if you want to try it out.