D G A E D H E K
Quick, come up with a 7-letter word from the 8 letters above! What did you get? If you got GEEKDAD, good job, and if you enjoy that kind of challenge on a regular basis, then I have the game for you.
Quarrel DX is a new word game for iOS which takes all of the world domination blood lust of Risk, and combines it with the quick-witted spelling skills you need for Boggle. It could have been called “Words with Enemies” except for the fact that you are not playing against real people but Artificial Intelligences (AIs), at least on the iOS version.
I’ve suffered all of my life from the chronic condition know as form of dysgraphia (commonly known as “bad spelling”). When I was in school, the teacher had to keep the word “because” on every spelling test because I spelled it wrong every week. Yet despite this unfortunate condition, I am a writer (thank goodness for the spellchecker!) and I love playing word games. My wife calls me a “Scrabbleshark” ever since the first time we played and I beat her hands down — and I really enjoy playing Quarrel.
The concept with Quarrel is that you and up to three opponents have rectangular sectors on the game board, and you are trying to take the others’ sectors. Take all of the sectors on the board, and you win. In each sector, you have from one to eight tiny avatars. You can challenge any of your neighbors to word combat, where each avatar carries a letter card into battle. Like Scrabble, each letter is worth a different number of points in the word you spell with it. Both you and your opponent will be spelling from the same list of letters, but you may have a different number of letter cards. Highest score wins, and, in case of a tie, fastest time wins.
If you are the defender and defeat your opponent, they lose all but one of their avatars in that square. If you are the attacker, then you take the square from your opponent leaving all but one of your avatars behind in the original space.
Beyond the engaging game play, which quickly had me addicted, the art in the game is a lot of fun, cartoony, and colorful. Each board has some rather lavish scenery around it, including tropical islands, jungles, castles, and volcanoes. Each player chooses their own avatar style from a selection of pirates, cavemen, highlanders, Valkyries, ninjas, aliens, robots, GIs, and robots.
The AIs vary in skill from the slow witted Dwayne (Word IQ: 100) to the unstoppable and slightly psycho looking Kali (Word IQ: 195). As you play, the game will begin to rate your Word IQ, which, of course you can post to FaceBook or Twitter. I’m currently at a 173, somewhere between Troy and Malik.
Quarrel is a great game to keep on the iPad or iPhone, since it’s easy to put down and pick back up at any time. Even in the middle of a battle, you can quickly pause and come back. There are numerous levels, daily challenges, and the constant goal of increasing your Word IQ. I’ve also found that my son loves to play, and the game will keep him occupied on long and short trips alike. Plus there’s all that wordy goodness, so that hopefully he doesn’t end up like his old dad, in remedial spelling until 8th grade!
Disclosure: A review copy of the game was provided to GeekDad by the maker.