Quarto from Gigamic’s Abstract Strategy Games reminded me of an Indiana Jones-esque crypto puzzle when I first saw the wooden pieces. Like I was going to be constructing some sort of dart gun or secure document carrier.
But, in actual fact, it is another chunky, tactile, wooden beauty from the series of 6 and counting. And once again it’s a fast-playing strategic little number for 2 players with a lovely board and need-to-pick-up pieces.
The simplest of rules (literally a few lines and some example pictures); you have to take it in turns to lay pieces within the circle of permitted places. Whoever lays the fourth in a row is the winner. But those 4 pieces must have at least one attribute in common; tall/short, dark/light, hollow/solid, rounded/straight.
And, here’s the real kicker; your opponent chooses which piece you lay on every turn! Strategic sabotage abounds in this one as you watch your almost completed line become compromised by the very piece you handed your opponent. DOH!
This game has another way to catch you out too; forget to shout “QUARTO” when you synch that sweet fourth spot, and your tactics will be for nothing. Why? Because your opponent gets to steal your victory for themselves as punishment for your forgetfulness!
Now, I always make silly mistakes in this game which cost me dearly – and not just failing to spot a win! I can’t seem to see the patterns as they begin to emerge, and that is my husband’s chance to zip in and snooker me. For him, the advanced mode is the sweet spot, and that just gives me another excuse to blame when I lose to him!
Quarto is a game where players who can think ahead and quickly change up their tactics have the advantage. Nevertheless, it is a novel and fun puzzle to play!