Quarrel Review
Quarrel Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: Denki
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 Screenshot

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").

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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.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
@RAVerBruggen
Date: January 31, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The game looks cute and polished.
3.5
Control
A gamepad is never a good way to type, but the developers make it work.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is upbeat, the sound effects adorable.
3.8
Play Value
All of the game modes feel the same, but the basic gameplay can be compelling for Risk and Scrabble fans.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Multiplayer and single-player game modes.
  • Nine diverse A.I. characters, with unique personalities and play styles that make each and every game a new experience.
  • Twelve different island maps and four gameplay modes ensure variety and endless playability.
  • Intuitive user interface makes the game easy to pick up and play.
  • Control hilarious and whimsical animated troops that engage in battle.

  • Screenshots / Images
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