What started life as an iOS game, Quarrel took a mix of contrasting game types, threw them in a blender and turned it onto full power. The resulting mixture is one curious game. Taking elements from games such as risk and scrabble, Quarrel has you fighting over territories with up to four players in a colourful, Xbox live avatar battle. To begin with you select what number of AI players you will fight against or go online if you want to test your wits against human beings.
The players are then chosen at random to be placed into pecking order on the turns. Now during my playtime I generally found the case to be that if you were selected to move last then you had little to no hope in winning the game as everyone else would be attacking and adding extra troops to their territories before I could even get a chance to play.
The actual battles are quite fun to take part in, you're given a random selection of letters, each of which have their individual score values printed on the tile, you then have to make the best word you can from these letters. However you are limited in the size of word depending on how many troops you have on your territory, so if you have four troops then you can only make four letter words.
Put your word together and then you are scored according to the values on the letter tiles, then your opponents word is shown and scored, the winner of the battle is the one who has the bigger score, and then you get a funny animation with the troops beating the other troops with their letter tiles. the very maximum you can make is eight letter words as that is the limit you can have occupied on a territory with your troops. You will find that with every Quarrel that there is at least one hidden anagram with the selection of letters that you are given, and if no one finds this then the game will tell you what that anagram is or what the anagrams were.
There are a number of game modes for you to play on; Challenge mode gives you a number of challenges to complete, Showdown has you go against nine computer controlled opponents while Domination makes you go quarrel over all 12 territories, so this certainly puts your word skills to the test.
It's worth noting that for those whose main language is not English then you may find that you struggle with finding good words to use in your games like I encountered. While the game employs the use of the official Scrabble dictionary, the developers still ran into trouble with Microsoft and their nasty censorship system, this censored words which would be fine in normal conversation so if you think you have a good word you might find it blocked by these policies.
The little niggles with the game do not end there, I also encountered lag with the audio on the menu screen where the sounds seemed to be behind the actions on screen but in the actual game they are fine. There seemed to be no option to invite your Xbox live friends into a game and while I was playing there seemed to be very little online games being played forcing me to play against the computer on a number of occasions.
Those problems aside, I did have fun while playing this game and for 400 Microsoft Points, there are honestly worse purchases on the market place you could make for that amount of points that would not give as much fun as this one.
- Fun and colourful gameplay
- Cheap price point
- Sound lag on menu
- Hard to find online games
- Hard if English is not your main language