Quadrago Review

After absolutely falling in love with Pentago, I was interested in checking out other games by Mindtwister. Because of this, I asked to try out Quadrago.

In Quadrago, the goal is to get four pieces in a row. You are playing inside of a 4x4x4 cube which can spin in the middle. Each turn, you place a piece on one of the rods. Then, optionally, you may spin the middle 2x2 section 90 degrees (one "notch"). The first player to get four pieces in a row first - vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or a combination of these - is the winner.

The first thing that I like about Quadrago is that it is a gorgeous game. Not only are the pieces high quality, but the game also comes with a "box inside the box." Inside of the standard cardboard box is a wooden box which actually contains everything needed to play and could easily be set out on a coffee table or work desk. This is a wonderful game if you are someone who likes to place high quality wooden games around your home for decoration. And at the same time, the game is enjoyable and strategic - which helps quite a bit when a friend comes over and asks, "What's this?" You never want to have to answer with, "That's a game. It's called [I'm omitting the name here, but you know who you are, you crummy little game]. Let's not play it."

The next thing that I like about Quadrago is the three dimensional nature of the game. It is quite neat to have the ability to get your four in a row in so many different ways. You must pay attention to each layer, and placing each piece builds upon all of the previous strategy (or lack thereof) and affects the strategy for placing all of the upcoming pieces. As soon as you see that you're not going to win on the first layer, it may be time to start placing on the second layer and planning that assault - but make sure that you don't let your opponent win on the previous layer while you do this! (Yes, I did lose with the most basic four in a row on the first level because I was paying way too much attention to the second level.)

Third, I like the twisting element in the middle of the game. It isn't really as prevalent as in Pentago - I believe this is related to the twist being optional. However, it does add a new strategy to the game; more hiding what you're intending than winning through the careful twisting of the sections. Since there is only one twist-able section, and for the most part it can be placed where it needs to be in a single turn, the twisting seemed mostly like a hiding element.

Also, Quadrago is quite kid friendly - but this doesn't need it's own paragraph.  Unless it's a one sentence paragraph.  But I guess that last sentence messed that up.  Oh, and now that one... and this one....

Though I enjoy Quadrago, my main con is that most of the games seem to end in "Oh." Not, "Oh!" or "Ahhh!" Just "Oh." It seems like most of the games that we play end in someone simply not seeing something very basic that is right in front of their face. The three dimensional aspect of the game is a double-edged attribute. Whereas it really adds to the depth and enjoyment of the game, it also obfuscates (how's that for a five-cent word) the gameplay enough that it is simply hard to see what's going on. Most of the games that I have played have not ended in placing a piece and then twisting everything into place to win or trapping your opponent so that you can win no matter where they place. Most of the time they just end in someone placing the fourth one in an obvious straight line and their opponent didn't see it because of the pieces stacked everywhere.

Overall, I give Quadrago a 7.5/10. I debated giving it a bit higher, but I don't think that it has quite the addictiveness to it that Pentago does. I think this is because Pentago often ends in "Ahhhh!!!" whereas Quadrago often ends in "Oh." If you like beautiful games, "in a row" games, or are looking for a new game to play with your kids, it is definitely worth checking out - I think that there are people that will absolutely love Quadrago (people who are good at seeing everything going on in the game). But, whereas I think that everyone should play Pentago at some point in their life, I don't think that Quadrago will be a great fit with everyone.

I would like to thank Mindtwister USA for providing me with a review copy of Quadrago.

1 comment:

  1. Quarto is a good game (not great, but nicely brief for best 2-of-3), although Quarto often ends with the same sad "Oh" that you describe for Quadrango.

    Some great games, in random order:
    Khet (and probably Khet 2.0), Quoridor, Kamisado, Twixt, Quirkle Cubes.

    A good game is Tayu, which abstractly combines elements of Twixt with a clever and very nice scoring idea (Tayu is my wife's fave). Set is also good, but is rather anti-social as all must be quiet. Big Boggle is also good, and though it has its quiet time, much chatter ensues during score countings. Upwords is similar to but for many people more fun that Scrabble --- only the hardcore word people prefer Scrabble.

    A disappointing game is Stratego, where too much the best offense is a passive stance waiting to play defense. In chess two weak pieces can gang up on one strong piece, but unfortunately not so in Stratego.

    Also disappointing are games like Dominion. I feel Dominion is merely a "card game" of sorts; and there are way too many of these card style games in fashion these days. It is a screaming bore to learn the many attributes of various cards - who cares?

    Thanks, GeneM aatt CastleLong.com , 2012/Aug

    P.S. Your Kaptcha is unreadable, very bad.