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Every now and then a game comes along that is pitched as family-friendly. It features adorable art, easy to understand game rules and...

Greg Reviews: S'QUARRELS

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Every now and then a game comes along that is pitched as family-friendly. It features adorable art, easy to understand game rules and absolutely makes you hate all your friends when you are done. To be fair that is very fitting for this game because as we all know... Squirrels are dicks.

Welcome to the world of S'Quarrels.

In S'Quarrels you take the part of a fuzzy little nut eater who is competing with all the other squirrels in the area to collect the most acorns before winter arrives. To do so you must trick, ambush and out think your opponents to assemble a mighty horde.

To score all you have to do is match 3 of a kind to secure the points noted on the card. Once a squirrel stores their acorns, these can not be stolen by the other players. This is important for two reasons. First, there are several ways that players can steal cards from your hand by using special Action cards. Second is that each round has a non-determined length. This is because Winter is an actual game mechanic represented by a Winter card. As soon as this card is drawn the round ends and you score the points you have stored.

Simple enough mechanics that they can be learned quickly. To add a bit of variety and challenge the game also has Action cards.

First up we have Quarrel. Everyone picks a card from their hand and reveals them at the same time. Whoever has the highest card wins all the cards used in the Quarrel, with ties for highest selecting continuing to choose cards until they have a winner.

Next up is Hoard. Everyone gets to play except the person who plays the card. When the card is played, whoever slaps the Hoard pile first gets all the cards that have been discarded there. This pile grows over time as each player must discard a card to the pile at the end of their turn.

Ambush is a special bit of shenanigans as it allows you to take one random card from each player's hand.

Finally, we come to Whirlwind. Basically, a big wind storm as struck and scattered everyone's nuts. You get to take ALL player's hands, shuffle them and then deal them back out to everyone. You never know if this will be a good thing for you or not so this card can be a little risky.

The last two cards presented in the game are the Golden Acorn and Rotten Acorn. These add +5/-5 points respectively to the player who has it in their hand when Winter comes. Obviously, you want to keep the good acorn and get rid of the other one and the Action cards are the best way to do this, though it doesn't always work out that way.

The game can take as little or much time as you want, depending on your target score that you set at the beginning of the game. The recommended 50 pts usually takes a half dozen rounds and maybe the better part of an hour with a full table of players.

While not one of my more favorite games it is a great way to get younger players involved in gaming and can lead to a fun night of fast paced squirrely wrath.

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