You just need six dice and some pens, then roll the dice and cross off numbers. That’s the game. That’s Qwixx, a game from Steffen Bennedorf, published by White Goblin Games. It’s that simple, however it was interesting enough to nominate it for the prestigious Spiel des Jahres in 2013, along with Hanabi and Augustus. Hanabi won, but there is more to Qwixx than meets the eye.
What do you get for your money?
You get six dice, 1 score pad and the rules.
How do you play the game?
What is Qwixx? Qwixx is six dice and a score sheet. On your score sheet you find four rows. The first two, red and yellow, are numbered 2 to 12, and the last two, blue and green, are number from 12 to 2. All four rows end with a lock symbol. You goal is to cross off as much numbers per row before the game ends. During your turn you must roll all six dice. There are two white dice and a green, yellow, red and blue die. Let’s say you roll a white six and a one, a red six, a yellow four, a green one and a blue six. Then every player has the choice to cross off the number that corresponds with the white dice, six plus one is seven. They can choose the colour themselves. So every player, including you, can cross-off a red, yellow, blue or a green seven. In addition, you can cross off another number. Namely, a combination of one white die and a coloured die. So, maybe you want to cross off a yellow five (one plus four), a blue twelve (six plus six) or a green seven (six plus one). You can only cross off numbers to the right of the last crossed off number in a row. So, once you’ve crossed off that yellow five, you can not cross off a yellow four in later turns. When you crossed off, at least, five numbers in a row and you then can cross off a twelve (yellow and red) or a two (green and blue), and if you were the first to do so, you may additionally cross off the lock. That row is closed and the die in that colour is removed from the game. A crossed off lock counts as an extra crossed off number, which means extra points for you. If you can’t do anything in your turn, you have a useless turn and that will earn you minus five points. The game ends when two dice are removed from the game or someone had his fourth useless turn. The more crosses in a row, means more points. For instance, five ‘yellow’ crosses will earn you fifteen points, while nine ‘blue’ crosses will earn you forty-five points. Add all the points from every row and useless turn together and the player with the most points wins the game.
You can buy a little expansion for Qwixx, called Qwixx Mixx or Qwixx gemixxt. It consists of two new score sheets. One sheet has all numbers in non-numerical order (top left) and the other one has multiple colours in the same row (top right). The bottom one is the score sheet from the base game. Like the title clearly says, this expansion mixes it up a bit.
This game has one of the most straightforward mechanisms you can think of. Roll dice and cross off numbers. It’s that simple. However do you go fast or do you want to take it slow? That’s where the push your luck element comes in. I can cross off a green four, but then I can’t cross off the green five and six. What if I don’t cross off the four and wait for the five and the six? The next player rolls, he can close the green row, the green die is out off the game and the chances of you crossing off the green five and six are even lower than before. During every turn you have to make small decisions. Not only on your own turn, but also on another player’s turn. The white dice make sure of that. Everybody is involved throughout the whole game. That means being involved for ten minutes straight, because that how long it takes. On your own turn, you have to decide if you want to use the white dice, or only use a combination of one coloured and one white die. How you play this game, slow or fast, depends on the choices other players make. If one player is racing towards the end of the yellow row, then crossing off yellow numbers on your own sheet, before the yellow die is taken out of the game, might be the thing to do. If all the player go slow, you can take your time too. Crossing off one blue number at a time, leaving no empty spaces in between, going for the big score. The small decisions, the push your luck element, those are the things that, although this games is very simple, make this game interesting.
The expansion, Qwixx Mixx, does change the game a bit. At least one of the new score sheets. The op left one on the picture above feels exactly the same as the basic score sheet. The top right one, however, does make you play the game differently. Because, in every row, there are numbers in every colour, you have to think a bit more about whether you want to close a row. For instance if you close the blue row, the blue die is taken out of the game and that also has an impact on the amount of points you can score in the other three rows. Although this expansion only changes the game a bit, it’s enough to keep it fresh.
It’s just rolling dice. There’s no theme here.
It’s colourful. That’s all I can really say about the looks of this game.
Quality of the components:
The dice are fine, the score sheets are fine. The quality is just fine. The end.
I was incredibly sceptical about his one. Rolling dice, crossing off numbers? That’s like Bingo, I’m not going to play Bingo.. Then my girlfriend played it on game day and bought it afterwards, so I had to play it. At least once. The good boyfriend I am. I what do you know, I really like it. It’s quick, it’s easy and it makes you feel you incredibly greedy every time those dice are chucked onto the table. Give me a green four, I want that green four! It’s almost like gambling, but without the gambling itself. It’s just an exciting and engaging experience. The fact that you can explain this game in a minute to gamers or non-gamers, young or old, is another benefit of this game. You know it’s a great game when people afterwards say: Let’s play again. It’s a filler, true, but it’s a great filler.