review
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POSTED 29/1/12


QUARREL

UTV Ignition Games
Xbox 360/XBLA (also on iPhone/iPad)

What are words for, when no one listens anymore? (Words for...) Well, Missing Persons, it took us some 30 years to answer, but we can now tell you they can alternatively be used as weapons – although that nice Mr Eminem bloke beat us to divulging that by about 10 years.

Umm, where were we?

Oh, Quarrel, a word game that’s taken a trip from iDevices to the X machine. It combines Scrabble bits – notably anagrams and letters with scores attached - and territory-snatching bored (sic) game Risk. Chuck in some truly impressive Nintendo-calibre presentation, jam in the Bamix, whisk away for a bit and BAM!

You get to be you – well, your Xavatar - pitted against two to four others, be they from the nine built-in peeps or actual real humans, like we suspect you most likely are. Colour-coded territory’s randomly but evenly distributed, a starter-offerer is assigned and it’s on like Patapon. Except Quarrel’s nothing like Patapon. Well, save for the cutesy-pie characters and a seven-letter title.

Each of your huge tracts of land has a number of minions to do your anagrammatical bidding. If somebody assails you with an army of six whilst you too have an army of six, then it’s a true battle of wits and dictionarial skill. Unfortunately, however, it’s often eight versus two (or similar mismatches), in which case you are, to put it impolitely, fucked. Shuffling strategy only gets you so far; often you’ll sit getting continuously mutilated, knowing full well you’ve no hope of salvation as you cannot compete. There are a few different modes, but all essentially boil down to the same proposition.

This sometimes your fault/oftentimes randomness is a killer, turning an otherwise entertaining, intelligent, engaging and beautifully presented game into something we often wished would burn in the fiery pits of a long-distance runner.

Do you hear me? Do you care?

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.