What happens when you combine Scrabble, the game of Risk, and Veggietales-like artwork? Quarrel - a game where words are the weapons.
Developed by Denki and published by UTV Ignition Games, Quarrel is a game that literary fans might be leaping to play, but is it any good? Yes, yes it is.
Simplicity is what makes Quarrel so fun and engaging. The goal of the game is straightforward: Use 8-letter anagrams to fight for territories against CPU controlled opponents - or online against others. The setup is very similar to playing Risk, up to four sides are divided up into territories on a board and each player starts with a number of troops. The players take turns attacking a neighbor, fortifying a position with extra troops, or simply passing the turn.
Quarrel is definitely a game where there is always something to do. Something that can be a bit difficult for games to actually accomplish. If the CPU is taking its turn, the player will get a chance to see what letters are being used and to possibly solve the anagram. Should a player solve the anagram, they will get the ability to call for backup during an attack or defense state. Backup, in this case, comes in the form of an extra letter to use in a word - which can just as easily make the difference between winning and losing a match. Backup is also earned by playing high scoring words during engagements.
There are numerous modes of play to engage in - both single player or multiplayer. Each gameplay mode is fun, whether it be Domination (against multiple opponents), Showdown (against a single opponent), or Challenges - that test the player's word IQ or pits them against an increasingly lethal series of opponents. Regardless of the mode, the gameplay is still going to be the same across the board - with some minor changes that add variety to spice things up.
The aesthetics of the game are pretty basic but function and fit well in the scheme of the game's world. A player may use the Xbox Vision camera to affix his/her face as a representation in the game (or the game will default to their Xbox LIVE avatar). A small touch, yes, but it does add that extra bit of personality.
If games like Words With Friends or traditional Scrabble sound appealing, Quarrel is going to be worthy of investigation. The game offers Words With Friends fun but with a bit more depth - thanks to the strategy element that is easy to get into and play. However, if word-games aren't appealing to you, there's little reason to check this one out. It's a niche game but, in that regard, it delivers.
Quarrel is available now for Xbox 360 for 400 MS.
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