I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to have found this week’s Thrift Treasure at our local Goodwill. It sounds silly, but this is actually the second time we have run across Quarto!, but the first time we had to pass on it since it was missing a couple pieces. Ever since picking up Quits last year, we have been on the lookout for a matching copy of Quarto! to complete the collection. And now we finally found one!
We much prefer these older copies since they are made from wood and not plastic. The game play hasn’t changed though, a sign of a well-balanced and entertaining title. At its heart, Quarto! is a quick-playing abstract games that pits two players against each other in an attempt to get four in a row. But it isn’t quite that simple – there are multiple ways to accomplish it.
Although there are two colors of pieces, this isn’t a red vs. black type of game. You are not assigned a color at all! The first player picks one of the sixteen pieces and hands it to his opponent. That person must then place it on the board. He then chooses one of the remaining fifteen and hands it back to the first player who then also must play it. This is how the game progresses, back and forth choosing the piece to play for the other person!
Each piece has four different characteristics. Tall or short, light or dark colored, round or square, and solid or hollow. One of these four variables are what you’re trying to line up in a row. All tall, all light, etc. With so many options, it is quite easy to miss an opportunity if you’re not looking for it. And because neither of you ‘own’ certain pieces, if you miss it, your opponent is sure to grab it!
A round will last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on how long each player studies the board and considers their moves. Sadly, this wooden version is no longer made, but you can find an updated wooden design still being issued by Gigamic on Amazon for well under $30! A fantastic value for something that is certain to last decades! Or take your chances on eBay – they pop up there on a regular basis as well!