I was at the Discover Games booth at New York Toy Fair when I got the 30-second Quartex pitch. I’ll be honest, it had to be a quick sell because I’ve seen games like this before and I wasn’t really in the mood to hear about a game that I felt I’d seen a few times before – but this was worth it as its got a great twist. CSE Games sent me a sample and the same thing happened when I introduced Quartex to my play testers; they moaned about it being similar to other games but when I said what was different they instantly decided it was worth a try.
As you can see from the pictures, Quartex is a corner matching game. Each player starts with 5 tiles hidden behind a paper shield in front of them and must place 1 on their turn. Any time a player finishes off a symbol (i.e. put the 4th piece in place) you collect a token that matches that symbol – and yes, it’s possible to collect multiple tokens per turn. At the end of the game, each type of token is worth however many tokens of that symbol are left. This nice little twist makes the last ~half of the game more strategic than a typical game of this kind. We didn’t find that it had much value in the beginning half of the game, but as the game gets going and you see that lots of purple tokens are being taken but almost no red, it will begin to impact how you play. You’ll try to set yourself up to capture a red token or stop someone else from taking a red – and as the game winds to the end, you have to play any piece you can, so you definitely do not want to give someone big points right at the end!
I do wish the scoring twist had more impact throughout the game, but I just don’t see how that’s possible. We did toy with the house rule of saying if someone managed to capture ALL of one color they would be the instant winner. Still, if you like this kind of tile placing game, you’ll definitely enjoy Quartex.
The other thing about Quartex that I have to mention is the quality. The box is super thick, which anyone with a large game collection LOVES, but even the pieces are really well made. The tokens and tiles are nice thick cardboard (and they come pre-punched and pre-bagged!) There’s also a really high-quality purple bag to hold the yet-to-be-drawn tiles during the game. Overall, the high quality feel of this game really elevates it to another level.
~$20-25 at Amazon and your local game store
~20 minutes (but this really depends on how quickly players make decisions – it could be longer)
Ages 10and up