A review of Quarrel I wrote for the website www.square-go.com
Long time readers of SquareGo might have heard of this one; Quarrel from Dundee based games developer Denki. It has been on the boil for a fair old while but all along the way there was a great deal of hope that the game would fulfil it’s potential. Well, now it has been released onto the iOS App Store; was it worth the wait?
Quarrel is a hybrid game; it’s one part word puzzle, one part Risk-style strategy game; each level is broken up into areas into which your troops are placed. The aim here is to destroy your opponents and take over the entire map. How do you do this? By having a good vocabulary.
You can have up to eight of your men on each area and when you attack an opponent you then have to outscore them in a word game. The more men you attack with the more letters you can use to spell your word. It takes a fairly deep strategy game and makes it simple; attack with more people so you can make bigger words, easy as that.
It’s great with both types of games complementing each other perfectly; just knowing that you need more men to have more letters makes the Risk style strategy easier to understand. Quarrel is also very well balanced; normally in these kind of games once someone takes over most of a level they can easily swamp everyone else to win. Here, defending attacks successfully can really put your opponent on the back foot and swing the game round to your favour. And because it’s not a random roll of the dice but your own word skills that wins the day it’s very satisfying.
A quick aside, for those people who are wondering (and they will be) unlike something like Words With Friends, Quarrel accepts all the words. If they’re in the dictionary then they’re here!
The icing on the cake is the great visual style: all of your troops look superb and have great animations; it’s bright and colourful and perfectly pitched. Couple this with an excellent soundtrack and your onto a winner.
There are also several game modes: a quick play option as well as being able to adjust all the match options to your heart’s content; a Domination mode that takes place over several levels and maps as well as Daily Challenges.
Any flies in the ointment? Well, there is no multiplayer. All the matches are against the computer which scales nicely from walkover to genius but it’s still not the same as playing against real people. The developer is working on this so fingers crossed for future updates. Also, if your turn is last of the up to four players you can get quickly swamped by the more challenging computer characters. But then, that’s not all the game’s fault, you just need to learn better words.
Really, those points are barely a niggle because Quarrel is an incredibly fun game, a new take on the Word Puzzle genre that does not disappoint and plays as well on the iPhone as it does on the iPad. There really is no reason not to pick this up, it’s a top notch game that deserves to be as popular as a Word With Friends or an Angry Birds.
Well worth the wait.
Five stars out of five