Fall is upon you and you have to rush to get as many acorns as possible to store for Winter! All of your fellow squirrels are doing the same so who is going to be able to survive the cold and frost? Move fast; watch out for Whirlwinds, Ambushing and Quarreling and try to get the Golden Acorn before anyone else. Make sure you don’t get caught with the Rotten Acorn or is could spoil your supply. Get ready to go nuts!
Publisher: Home Lantern Games, LLC
Game Designer: Bryan Lovell
Ages: 7 and up
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Contents: 1 rulebook and 120 playing cards.
Suggested Retail Price: $12.99
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
S’quarrels is a quick family game that plays to a pre-determined score say 50. The dealer deals 7 cards to each player. Players discard any action cards this first time and then draw back up to 7 allowing only number cards in their hand to start. Play starts to the dealers left and moves clockwise.
There are 3 phases in S’quarrels, the Draw Phase, The Store Phase and the Discard Phase.
The Draw Phase: During this phase the players must draw one card before storing any acorns in the storage pile. If a player has less than 7 cards, they can continue to draw 1 card at a time until they reach 7 cards or an Action card Is drawn. They must then immediately resolve the action card.
The Store Phase: Whenever a player has 3 matching cards in their hand they may store them in the storage pile for scoring later. For example if a player stores 3 – 5 cards, then the player will get 5 points for that set. Once a player chooses to store Acorns, they can no longer draw more cards. All stored Acorns are safe and cannot be stolen by other players.
The Discard Phase: A player ends their turn by discarding a single card in to the Hoard Pile.
End of Round: When the Winter card is drawn by a player, the round is immediately over and players then total up their scores and prepare for the next round. The player who won the round, is the dealer for the new round.
The game is over after a player has surpassed the agreed upon score at the beginning of the game.
– Quarrel: This is basically a game of war. Players play a card face down in front of them and then all reveal at the same time. They highest card wins. In case of a tie, players go again until a winner has the highest card.
– Hoard: When the Hoard card appears, all the players EXCEPT the player who drew it race to slap the Hoard Pile. First one to get to it wins the pile and it becomes their turn as they take all the cards in hand. They may chose to Draw cards if they have fewer then 7. Play resumes as normal, to the players left after the discard.
– Ambush: The player who draws the Ambush card gets to randomly steal one card from each player’s hand. Play then continues as normal.
– Whirlwind: The player who draws this card collects all the players cards from their hands, shuffles them and then redistributes them evenly back to the players starting with their own hand. After the cards have been redistributed then the player continues their turn.
– Winter: This card signifies the end of the round. Stored Acorns are totaled and left over cards in hands are not counted.
– Golden Acorn: This card is worth 5 extra points at the end of a round to the person holding it. It also trumps any other card in a Quarrel. However, if it is used in a Quarrel it is placed in the Discard Pile and lost for the rest of the round.
– Rotten Acorn: This card is worth -5 points at the end of a round to the person holding it. The Rotten Acorn my only be passed during the Action card phases and it may NOT be discarded into the Hoard Pile at the end of a players turn.
Component wise S’quarrels card are high quality. They won’t wear out easy and the artwork is good and cute so the kids will love it.
So what do I think about S’quarrels? While there is nothing new or original about this game and it plays off of many other types of card games, it is still cute and fun for the family or kids to play with each other. I wouldn’t say it would make a great meta-game at a game night of serious gamers, as I am not sure it’s the right fit in my experience. My 10 year old daughter likes the game quite a bit although due to the Hoard card, I strongly recommend turning off your TV while playing this game as kids get distracted and need to pay attention for when a Hoard card is played. This game moves quick enough to keep kids engaged which is a huge bonus in my book!
If you want a nice light easy game to play with kids, then yes, this is a great game for your family.
I am giving this a 6 out of 10 stars as a good light game that is very fast and easy to learn and younger kids should really like it.