Title: Qwixx - The Card Game
Designed By: Steffen Benndorf and Reinhard Staupe
Art By: Oliver Freudenreich and Sandra Freudenreich
Published By: Gamewright
Player Count: 2-5
Time to Play: 15 Minutes
These days it's all the rage to see games getting a roll-and-write or flip-and-write edition of their original game. Qwixx took a slightly different approach. Qwixx was originally designed as a roll-and-write game and this new version turns it into a flip-and-write game. We have not seen any game that has both a roll-and-write AND a flip-and-write version before. As fans of the original version of Qwixx, we were intrigued to see how the two compared. We are pleased to share that we found Qwixx the card game to be a very pleasant, familiar alternative to Qwixx the dice game.
For those unfamiliar with Qwixx, the object of the game is to score as many points as possible by crossing out boxes in four different colored rows. The more boxes you cross out per row, the more points you will score. At the end of the game, whoever scored the most points wins.
Give each player a score sheet and something to write with (not included in the box).
Decide if you are playing the joker variant or the standard game. Joker cards are wild and can count as any color. If playing a standard game, remove the 11 joker cards from the deck.
Shuffle the deck and deal each player a hand of 4 cards face-down (meaning orange-side up). Players pick up their cards so that they can see the colored side and their opponents see the orange side.
Deal four cards, face down (orange side up) in the middle of the players creating a tableau, with the deck face-down (again orange-side up) next to the row of cards. That will be the draw pile.
You are now ready to play.
How to determine the first player:
Determine who's birthday is furthest from today, that person will be the starting player.
How to Play:
In Qwixx, players will be working to cross off as many boxes in each of their four colored rows as possible. Numbers can only be crossed off from left to right, meaning that once you cross off a number, you can no longer cross off any numbers to its left for the remainder of the game. Two rows (red and yellow) count upward and two rows (green and blue) count downward.
In Qwixx, turns have three simple parts. It is important to pay attention even when it is not your turn though, as all players get the opportunity to take an action during every player's turn.
Active Player: Step 1, is to replenish your hand. This step will not be taken the first turn of the game, as your hand is already full, but you will draw back up to five cards for all subsequent turns. Cards are drafted from the tableau. After you have five cards, refill the tableau so that it has four cards again.
Cards have the same number on the back (orange face-up side) and front (face-down side), so players will know what numbers they are adding to their hands. However, players will not know what color the card they are drafting is.
All Players: The new card on the top of the draw pile is now announced to all players. Players can choose to cross off this number in any one row of their choice. Think of these numbers are wild. They can be used as any color a player wishes for their own individual board. Player's do not need to take part in this step if they do not want to.
Active Player: Reveal 1-3 cards from your hand. You MAY cross out matching boxes on your scoresheet. Only the active player can take this action. Once you have crossed out your boxes (or choose not to), discard any revealed cards and play passes to the left.
Players must reveal at least one card but can choose to not cross out a box.
If revealing more than one card, all cards played must be the same color and cannot sip more than one box between the first and last number crossed out in that color row. For example playing a blue 6, 7, and 9 would be allowed, but playing a blue 6, 7, and 10 would not. Nor could you play a blue 6 and a red 7.
There are two other important things to know about when playing Qwixx. First are penalities. If on YOUR turn, you did not cross out any boxes during the 2nd and 3rd steps above, you must take a -5 point penalty. To do this, cross out one of the penalty boxes at the bottom of your score sheet. If at any time a player crosses out their 4th penalty box, the game ends immediately. You can only receive penalties on your own turn. If you choose not to take a number on another player's turn, you do not receive a penalty.
Last up is "locking a row". If a player has crossed off at least 5 other numbers in a row, and you choose to cross off the extreme right number in a row, you can also cross off the lock symbol for that row. The lock counts as an extra completed box for that row. Once a row is locked you cannot cross off any more numbers in it. Unlike in Qwixx the dice game, when you lock a row in Qwixx the card game, that row is only locked for you, not for other players. Meaning that even if Player A locked the red row on their score sheet, all other players can continue to score red boxes, until they too have locked their own red row.
The game ends one of two ways. As mentioned above, the first way is if one player gets four penalties. The other way is if any player locks a second row on their sheet. This can happen on an active player's turn, or on another player's turn.
Each colored row scores points according to how many boxes were crossed off in it. The more boxes crossed off, the higher points it will score. Players then tally up their scores and subtract any penalties and whoever has the highest score wins.
Qwixx the card game does a really wonderful job replicating all the things we love about its original version. The gameplay feels very familiar and it makes picking up how to play really easy for those that have tried the original dice version.
While typically we prefer games with dice, to games with cards (we like the randomness of dice), there are several things in Qwixx the card game that we actually prefer over the original.
First, we like seeing what options we have to draft our cards from. It is interesting to see which cards other's go for and trying to work around their strategies rather than just see what numbers come up on the dice each roll. We think this adds a little more strategy to the game. It is also interesting that the numbers on the front and back of the cards are the same so you might get to take a card once as a wild number, and then draft it and use the same number for a specific color. At certain points in the game, this can be very helpful.
Next, we like that just because one player locks a row, does not mean it is locked for all other players. In the original game, this could be a big loss of points if someone closed a row you had barely started working on. Now you have more flexibility around where to place your numbers without having to worry so much about what others are doing.
For people looking for a quick (pun intended) game that is super easy to teach new players, minimally language-dependent (besides numbers 1-12) Qwixx is a great go-to option. My family frequently takes it on the road, or out to restaurants so we have something to play while waiting around. It plays fast enough that it is easy to get a few games in, in between doing other things, or as a warm-up for a longer game day. Simply put, we love Qwixx and know your family will too!
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