by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Card game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Quiddler is a fun, word-based card game that will appeal to fans of Scrabble, Upwords or Boggle. It can be pretty slow at times, but word game lovers won’t mind that too much.
The game and gameplay
From the great minds that brought you The Set card game comes this rather oddly-named card game. It’s actually a very straightforward game once you get the hang of it and a lot of fun, too.
Quiddler revolves around making words from lettered cards. Cards can have either one or two letters on them, but to form words you must use a minimum of two cards.
Each player begins with three cards on round one. In every round, the number of cards dealt increases by one, until in the final round everybody gets ten cards in their starting hand.
Players draw either from the top of the deck, or from the last discard. They then must form words with each of their cards.
Example: a player is dealt three cards, V-Y-T. He draws an I and removes the T to make IVY. The player lays down his word(s) and then all other players get one more turn to improve their hand.
At the end of the round, the scores are tallied. Each card has a points total. Used cards count positive, but any unused cards are deducted from the score (players cannot score negative points, zero is the minimum).
Ten bonus points are awarded for the player who makes the most words and the longest word. The longest word is reckoned in letters, not cards, so using cards with two letters on is beneficial. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the round of ten cards.As with other word games, the joy of Quiddler is all in the interplay between your vocabulary, the allowed two- and three-letter words in your agreed dictionary and the bravery of challenging players.
A challenge results in the losing player having the points value of the challenged word deducted from their score. So a challenger needs to be very sure that a word is invalid before risking a challenge.
Knowing two-letter Scrabble words is a huge advantage. Indeed, being good at the original Scrabble game, Boggle, Upwords and other word games is a big plus in playing successful Quiddler games.
There’s quite a lot of strategy involved in seeking out the best points in your hand. It may be a good idea to implement a Scattergories-style timer to keep players on their toes, as it can seem an awfully long time until your turn when there’s a lot of cards out.
Pros and cons
It should go without saying, but people who dislike word games will find Quiddler a non-starter. Everybody else is going to enjoy it.
I liked the scoring system. Some fairly average letters (for Scrabble heads, at least) can be used to leverage some hefty scores. The addition of the ten-point bonuses does give you some decisions to make when you’re facing seven or more cards and need to decide which way to go, for a longer word or more short ones.
Being a card-based game, you don’t need a lot of space to play. It could quite easily be played on a long bus, train or air journey.
The game can move fairly quickly, though unlike most card games a lot of thinking time is going to be needed when your hand is full of cards. Impatient types need not apply.
Quiddler is a fine blend of card and word games. It’s a fine balance of skill, word power and strategy and the right type of person will love it.