This game has a little more components than it’s older brother Qwixx. Here you get some cards and a score sheet, then play those cards and cross off numbers. That’s still the basic idea of the game; cross off as many numbers in a row. Steffen Benndorf got help from Reinhard Staupe and created the card version of his award-winning game Qwixx. I already told you that I like that one. Is the card version better or worse?
What do you get for your money?
You get 55 cards, 1 score pad and the rules.
How do you play the game?
Qwixx: the card game is like Qwixx, but, you probably guessed right, with cards. Every card has a number on the back from one to twelve. At the front, it has the same number, but then in one of the four colours; yellow, red, green and blue.
You use the same score sheet as you used in Qwixx and the goal is the same: cross off as many numbers on your sheet as possible.
Because you use cards instead of dice, the way you do that is a bit different. At the beginning of the game every player receives four cards. Then draw four cards from the draw deck and place them face down in the middle of the table. So, now there are four face down cards on the table and one numbered card on top of the draw deck.
During your turn, you must take cards from the row of four until you have five cards in your hand. Then you draw cards until there are four new cards on the table. After the supply is refilled, every player can choose to cross off the number of the card on top of the draw deck in one of the four coloured rows. So, if we look at the picture above, a red, yellow, green or blue four.
Additionally, you can discard one, two or three cards, from your hand, of the same colour and cross off those numbers in he corresponding row. When you cross off more than one number, there can be only one empty spot between those numbers. So, you can cross off a red 3, 5 and 6, but you can’t cross off a 3, 6 and 7 in the same turn. You can, however, discard the 3, 6 and 7 card and decide to only cross off the 6 and 7. Why do you want to do that? Well, because you might have crossed off a red three already and you just want to get rid of this useless card.
Remember, you draw back up to five hand cards at the beginning of your next turn. So, getting rid of useless card is the way to create more space for better cards in your hand.
You can only cross off numbers to the right of the last ticked off number in a row. So, once you’ve crossed off a red five, you can’t cross off a red six. When you crossed off, at least, five numbers in a row and after that you are able to cross of a two (yellow and red) or a twelve (green and blue), you may additionally cross off the lock. That row is now closed.
In Qwixx, the dice game, you then remove the die in that colour from the game. In this game you don’t do anything like that. You just close the row. There are no consequences for the other players. You are the only one who can’t cross off any numbers in that row any more.
The same as in regular Qwixx, 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 one player has closed two rows or when someone had his fourth useless turn.
The more crosses in a row you have, the more points you get. Add all your points from the different coloured rows and your useless turns together and the player with the most points wins the game.
The Joker Variant
Together with the base game you get a mini-expansion. It’s more like a variant. You add eleven multicoloured joker cards to the deck. The number on the card is fixed, but you can choose the colour yourself when you play it.
The game feels very similar to Qwixx. Although it’s less frantic, because you don’t chuck dice.
You still cross off numbers, though.
There are a couple of things that are different. The first thing is that you are able to choose one or more cards and add them to your hand. Like with dice rolling, there’s still luck involved. First of all, the card that are drawn might not have the numbers you want. Additionally, the cards might not have colour you wanted, once you’ve taken them.
The later changes the feel of the game. In the dice game you have to be a bit lucky when you roll the dice, but once you’ve rolled them, you can mix and match all the dice to get something you want. In the card game, you need to be a bit lucky with the numbers that are drawn, but even when your desired number came out, you are still not sure if it’s really the colour you need. You want a blue four, then a four is drawn. ‘Wohoo!’ You take that card and it turns at to be a red four. ‘Ahhh…’ You already crossed of a red four and now this card sits there, in your hand, being useless. This mechanism adds a whole layer of disappointment to the game.
It’s nice when you do pick the right card, but when you pick a useless one it has an effect on the current turn, but also on the next ones, because you now have a card that you can’t immediately get rid of.
The joker variant does solve this problem a bit, they give you a bit more options.
The fact that you can discard up to three cards and, in this way, cross off three numbers, is also different. You would think that this speeds the game up, but that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, I think that this game takes slightly longer than the original.
The whole ‘push your luck’ element is still there, but less prominent. You are creating sequences of cards in your hand, preferably a series of three cards. Firstly because you can then cross off three numbers, but also because you then can take three new card during your next turn. Do you wait for that valuable third blue card? Or do you lay down the two you already have. Incomplete sets just take up space in your hands, space you need for cards you can play.
The main reason there’s less ‘push your luck’ in the card game is that, unlike in the original game, where a coloured die is removed from the game when that row is closed, here all coloured cards stay in the game at all times. There’s no rush for green numbers when a player might close off the green row soon.
This game is a little more tactical than its predecessor. You can keep your options open. In the dice game, you sometimes had to choose one of two or more very good options. In the card game you don’t have to get rid of the cards you can’t use this turn. You can use them later in the game.
I’ve noticed that the Qwixx Mixx score sheets are less suitable for the card game and then I’m mostly talking about the sheet where you have multiple colours is a single row. It does not work very well with the ‘only play cards that have the same colour’ and ‘there can be only one empty space between the numbers if you want to cross them off in the same turn’ rules.
There’s still no theme here.
Qwixx: the card game has a very basic look. No frills.
Quality of the components
The cards are OK. Also very basic.
Qwixx: the card game is fun, light, easy to explain and very quick. You might want to know how it compares to original Qwixx? Well, I think they are both fun. Both games feel very similar. Both are very nice fillers. However, my preference goes to the dice game.
In this game, you do miss a little of the ‘craziness’ caused by the chucking of dice. The reason I prefer the dice game a bit over this game is the fact that, in the card game, if you’re lucky, you can immediately become really lucky. You might even be able to cross off four numbers in one turn. If you have bad luck, it can bother you for several turns. Drawing three useless cards in one turn, is a pretty hard setback. You have to, somehow, pick up the pace later on. I also like the dice game better because of the added layer of disappointment I talked about above.
It’s not as terrible as it might sound. It’s a quick game, so if you were a bit unlucky, you can get a rematch next time, but it does feel frustrating sometimes.
In conclusion, both games are very good fillers. Qwixx itself is a bit better, but you can definitely have both in your collection.
It’s maybe too early, but do I smell a big box edition coming? Queen? Interested? No. OK…
I’ve posted this review two weeks earlier and almost immediately removed it, because it turned out that I was playing the game wrong the whole time. I mean really wrong. According to the rules you have to place the card face-down on the table in a row of four and somehow, I still don’t know exactly how, I played the game with face-up cards.
The rules are very clear. It’s me that has to be blamed. Me and my stupidity.
Again, I’m sorry for the confusion and presenting a review based on incorrect information.
OK, I’ve played the game some more, now with the correct rules. I still like it. However, I do feel that my version, with the face-up card row, was pretty fun. So, give it a try. It doesn’t hurt anyone, right?