Qwixx – To X or Not To X
I’ve been teaching and playing Qwixx a lot lately. It’s such a simple game – 6 dice and a scoresheet – yet so much fun. I wish I’d thought of it! Kudos to Steffen Benndorf, Qwixx’s designer.
Qwixx is a quick-playing dice game with absolutely no boring downtime between turns. Your goal is to X off as many numbers in each of the four colored rows on your scoresheet as you can. The more numbers you X off in a row, the more points you score for it.
The catch is that you can only cross off a number if it’s to the right of all other crossed-off numbers in that row. So there’s no going back. For example, if you X off the red 4 now, you’ll never be able to X off the red 2 or 3 later. To X or not to X is an ongoing, sometimes, agonizing decision in Qwixx.
To play, grab some pens or pencils and give each player a scoresheet. Players will take turns rolling the dice. On your turn, roll all six dice (2 white, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green and 1 blue), then announce the sum of the two white dice.
You and your fellow players may optionally X off the number you announced (the sum of the white dice) in any one of their four colored rows. As the active player, you may then use the sum of one of the white dice and one of the colored dice to X off a number in the chosen colored die’s row. If you cannot legally mark off at least one number (using either the white dice or a white and colored die) or you really, really don’t want to, you must instead put an X in one of the four penalty boxes in the lower right of your score sheet. Take the latter option with caution, though: each marked off penalty box costs you 5 points at the end of the game. When everyone’s ready, pass the dice to the next player so she can do likewise.
So what are those lock symbols at the end of the rows? The last number in each row presents a special case. You can only mark off the last number in the row, if you have already marked off at least 5 other numbers in that row. If you successfully X off the last number in a row, also mark off its lock symbol. It counts as another marked off box for scoring purposes, plus it locks the row, so no one else can X off any more numbers in that color. Remove the corresponding die from the game, it won’t be used any more.
Play continues until either two rows are locked or one player marks off all four of his penalty boxes. Players then tally their points for each color using the handy scorer at the bottom of their sheets, add ’em up and subtract five points for each marked penalty box. The player with the highest score wins.
Qwixx is addictive. When we pull Qwixx out to play, we can rarely play just one game. We usually end up playing it at least 2 or 3 times in a row. Conveniently, the scoresheets are double-sided, so of course you must play at least twice! While the game play is fast and simple, you’re constantly faced with the To X or Not To X dilemma. I think that dilemma is what makes the game so fun. You want to yell “Hurrah!” when you discover you chose correctly and you’re sure to mutter, “Drat, drat, why did I do that!” when the next roll is the number you really wanted.
The dice are regular six-sided dice, nothing special. The box is quite sturdy with a magnetic flip-close lid. It’s the perfect size to slip into a pocket and take anywhere. Add a couple of small pencils and you’re ready to play anywhere! Qwixx makes a great filler between meatier games and an excellent family game you can play while the noodles are cooking. It appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike.
Qwixx has earned several honors in the gaming industry, including:
- 2014 Mensa Select Winner
- 2014 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Family Game Winner
- 2013 Spiel des Jahres Nominee
- 2013 Deutscher Lernspielpreis Nominee
- 2013 Kinderspielexperten “8-to-13-year-olds” Nominee
To X or Not To X, that is the Qwixx-tion.
Qwixx supports 2 to 5 players ages 8 and up and can be played in about 15 minutes. MSRP: $10.99.
Note: updated with rules correction 4 May 2016.
Copyright © 2016 by Tina G. McDuffie. All rights reserved.
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