February 13, 2016
Qwixx is another in the line of small dice games from Gamewright, makers of the ever-popular Slamwich and Rat-a-Tat Cat. Like the other titles in this popular line, which include Rolling America and Dodge Dice, Qwixx is fast, easy-to-learn, and fun to wrap your head around.
The game consists of six dice of different colors (a red, a blue, a yellow, a green, and two white), a score pad, and the rules. These fit into a small box with a magnetic closure making it easy to take with you almost anywhere. The score sheets are printed with four colored rows of numbers that extend from 2 to 12 and from 12 to 2, matching the possible outcomes of the dice. Players take turns rolling all the dice and using the results to designate numbers for all players to cross off of their score sheets. The object of the game is to be the player who crosses out the most numbers in all four rows, but, as you might expect, there are some wrinkles as to how one goes about making that happen successfully.
Two actions take place after a player rolls the dice. First, the active player totals the two white dice and announces that number. Each player may then cross off that number in any colored row if they wish. However, the numbers in each row must be crossed off from left to right (lowest to highest in red and yellow; highest to lowest in green and blue). Players are allowed to skip numbers in succession, but they cannot later go back to a number that has been skipped. The second action after the dice roll is for the active player to total one white die and any one of the colored dice. The active player only may then cross off that number from the row that matches the color of the die that was selected. If, after both of these actions have occurred, the active player has not crossed off any numbers from his score pad, then he must mark off one of four penalty boxes. Note that the number farthest to the right in each colored row may only be crossed off a player’s score sheet if at least four other numbers have already been crossed off in that row. If this is done then the row is considered locked out and completed for all players. If any row is locked out on any player’s score sheet, the matching colored die is removed from play and no one may continue to cross off numbers on the row of that color.
Play continues around the table with players taking the active role (and roll!) until either one of two things occur: until a player has crossed off her fourth penalty box, or when two colored dice have been removed from the game. At the bottom of each score sheet is a table indicating how many points are awarded for the number of crossed-out numbers within each row – the more crosses, the better the score. Each penalty box used then scores -5 points. Finally, players add up their scores from each colored row minus their penalty boxes to determine the highest total points and the winner of the game.
The rules for Qwixx are remarkably simple, but they allow for a surprising amount of strategy and decision making – even with the significant luck factor of the dice rolls as a core mechanic. A single game might take only fifteen minutes at the outside, and you’ll likely want to play again right away. Thankfully, Gamewright has released additional score pad packs this year for those of us who can’t seem to stop!
Qwixx is an inexpensive, easy pick for two to five players of just about any age and any experience level. Its compact size makes it ideal for taking along wherever you go and its short play time ensures that you can roll out some fun while waiting for a meal or just hanging out on a lazy afternoon. We say check it out!