Game Night: Quiddler

This post is part of the Game Night Blog Carnival. For the carnival hub, click here.

Based upon the number of people I see reference “Words with Friends” (aka, Scrabble) on Twitter and elsewhere, I thought I would present Quiddler for this month’s Game Night post. Everyone loves a good word game, and Quiddler takes an approach to word games that’s a little different from Scrabble. Quiddler uses cards.

Game play is pretty simple. The goal of the game is to finish the last round of play with the most points. There are 8 rounds of play. In each round of play, players receive a set number of cards in their hand that have one or two letters on them, along with a point value. On your turn, you draw and discard. Also on your turn, if you can “go out” by using all the cards in your hand to form words, you do that too. Going out puts the pressure on the other players, as everyone gets one more turn after you go out to make as many words (and points) as they can. Then, the words are scored, and the next round begins. In each successive round of play, players receive one more card in their hands than they had in the previous round. So, in round one, you have three cards, and in round eight, you have ten.

On top of the points you score from your words, there are also two bonus points awards available each round: longest word, and most number of words. Both of these earn a substantial ten points, so it is in a player’s best interest to not only go out as soon as possible, but also try to earn one of these rewards. The rub? If there’s a tie, no bonus points are awarded.

Of course, as in Scrabble, there are rules governing word challenges and dictionary use at the table. But I won’t bore you with those.

Gameplay is actually pretty fast. It is rare (in my experience) for play to pass around the table more than once in any given round. That is to say, usually someone goes out in the first trip around the table. This makes for a fast game that also stretches the literary side of your brain. That being said, there is a certain amount of luck that goes along with the skill of creating words out of your cards. If you’re dealt a lot of consonants and one vowel, there is little you can do with your cards except hope that you get the chance to draw and discard more than once. Of course, that’s an issue with any random element in any game (including Scrabble). Sometimes the random element bites you in the backside. You just have to rest assured that next round, it will probably be someone else with a fistful of unusable letters. In the end, I have to say, if you like word games, Quiddler is a must buy.

  • Game: Quiddler
  • Number of Players: 2-8
  • Game Type: Strategic Card Game
  • Play Time: About an hour

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