SNAP Review – Quarto
Why do we play boardgames? We like to play with the pieces, we like to create a plan… but what if there was a game where you didn’t get to pick the pieces. Where you have to play reactively instead of having a concrete plan?… Now, what if I told you that game is almost as old as us!
This is a SNAP review for Quarto.
Quarto is a two player abstract strategy game by Blaise Muller that plays in 5-10 minutes. You can get it right now from Gigamic.
Let’s talk about the art in Quarto.
This is a prime coffee-table game: gorgeous pieces with no words or symbols anywhere. All sixteen pieces are beautiful natural wood in dark and light shades, and every piece is unique. There’s a canvas bag to store them in, and a very simple wooden board.
My only complaint is that it can be hard to tell which way is “up” on the pieces – which is important to tell the difference between the pieces that are solid from the ones that have a hole cut out from the top.
Let’s talk about the mechanics.
Quarto is a four-in-a-row game, so you already kind of know how to play. But there are two twists!
On your turn, you place a piece in any open spot on the board. Your goal is to make a line of four pieces – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. To make a line, all four pieces must share at least one attribute: height, color, shape, or presence of a “hole”. This combination of four attributes means every one of the sixteen pieces is entirely unique.
Here’s the first twist: all the pieces are shared between you and your opponent. You can use any pieces already on the board to make a line.
But the second twist is even more surprising. After you’ve placed a piece on the board, you choose the next piece that your opponent must play. And at the end of their turn, they’ll pick the next piece for you to play!
[Andrew] So, in this example, I’m placing a piece, and then I choose a piece for Anitra and hand it to her.
[Anitra] Then I place that piece and choose one for Andrew.
We go back and forth until someone can make a qualifying line of four pieces. Whoever does that, wins!
What did we expect from Quarto?
Quarto has been around for over 30 years, and it’s been winning awards ever since then.
We really enjoy tight two player games with the two of us, and we were excited to get the opportunity to review this one!
The abstract series from Gigamic never disappoints. The pieces are high quality, the presentation is smooth, and they’re always games I feel like I could find on the coffee table at a stylish hotel or something like that,
But what surprised us about this game?
Being able to pick the piece for your opponent to play makes this game really tactical in a way that I did not expect.
The game starts out pretty open, because there are no placement restrictions, so you can put pieces down anywhere. But it tightens up very quickly!
For a game that takes less than ten minutes, it definitely gets my brain engaged!
Do we recommend Quarto?
Yes, we do. It’s easy to learn, incredibly quick to play, and looks great on a table.
The suggested age range is 8 and up, and I think that’s about right; players need to be able to look for several potential patterns and adjust to new pieces as they are placed on the board.
So what are we going to rate Quarto from Gigamic? We’re going to rate it 4 pieces out of 5.
And that’s Quarto, in a SNAP!
Find Quarto on Amazon or at your local store for toys and games.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Quarto from Gigamic for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 2
Playtime: 5-10 minutes