|System: Xbox 360|
|Pub: UTV Ignition|
|Release: January 25, 2012|
|Players: 1 (2-4 online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence|
Unfortunately, because all players use the same set of tiles for their words, local multiplayer isn't possible (you could just copy your opponents' words). But there is online multiplayer. I wasn't able to put together a ranked match—there just aren't enough players yet, apparently—but I had no trouble at all finding quick matches. These contests run smoothly, though they don't offer the wide range of options available in the offline game.
Quarrel is amazing when it comes to the technical and presentation side of things, with polished and colorful graphics, amusing animations, cute sound effects, upbeat music, and workable controls. Quarrel was originally an iOS game, and it must be easier to spell out words quickly with a touchscreen rather than a thumbstick, but I found it relatively easy to punch in words quickly. An especially nice touch on the presentation front is that the game constantly bombards you with random facts—after each match you'll learn the anagrams that use all of the letters you just saw, and you'll also see plenty of definitions for words you don't know.
Of course, I should also mention one bizarre feature of Quarrel that's been in the news lately. Single-player matches are governed by the Scrabble dictionary, meaning that pretty much every word you've ever heard of is fair game. However, online games are run through Microsoft's decency filter—a filter that blocks not only legitimate words that have risque connotations in some contexts ("shaft," "balls") but also completely innocent words ("help").
So, here's the bottom line: Quarrel is a well-made and fun game that will put your vocabulary to the test, and at a price of just $5, it's a good buy for Risk and Scrabble fans. It will be especially fun for gamers who have friends online who share their tastes. However, some aspects of this game are quite frustrating, so expect Quarrel to become a pleasant diversion, not an addiction.
Date: January 31, 2012