| April 4th 2016 |Thanks for checking out my blog. I have a new, much better looking version of this review here: http://www.boardgamebarker.com/blog/2015/8/22/squarrels-1
Are you looking for a fast, easy card game to play with your family over the holidays? A game for the kids or to play with them perhaps? Then look no further, S'Quarrels is fun and takes only a few minutes to learn, players become Squirrels racing to collect and store the most nuts before winter.
Before dealing the first hand players will decide on a total score. After each round players will add their score to that of their previous rounds and if they reach the total score, for example: 50 first, that player is the winner. Every time the card Winter is drawn, players total the value of any Stored 'Acorn Cards' to get their score for the round.
Shuffle the deck and deal each player 7 cards. Players must discard any 'Action Cards' drawn and replace them until their entire hand is made up of 'Numbered Acorn Cards' or 'Special Cards'.
*If Winter is drawn during setup, any discarded Action Cards along with Winter are reshuffled back into the deck.
Each turn it is your goal to Store Acorn cards, in order to do this you must have 3 of a kind. At the start of your turn you must draw 1 card but can then continue drawing until you have 7, stopping at any point in between. Regardless of how many cards you draw, you must discard 1 at the end of your turn to the Hoard Pile.
*You can only store in sets of 3, you cannot play 4,5,6,etc of a kind.
Why would you want to stop drawing early? Well some 'Action Cards' are harmful to yourself if you draw them and can cause you to lose a set of acorns you already had in your hand, in some cases it is best to just Store the acorns.
Here are the different Action Cards
Ambush: Randomly take 1 card from each player's hand.
Hoard: Everyone except the player who draws the Hoard Card races to touch the Hoard Pile, the first player to do so claims the entire Hoard Pile for themselves!
Whirlwind: Collect all cards from all players' hands and shuffle them, then redistribute the cards starting with yourself, if you do not have 7 cards at the end of the Whirlwind draw until you do and then proceed with your regular turn.
Quarrel: All players select cards from their hand and reveal once every one has selected, the highest card takes all. If there is a tie, all tying players select a new card and Quarrel again! The Winner takes all cards played during the Quarrel, discards a card to the Hoard Pile and ends their turn.
Winter - The game ends immediately. Everyone totals their points and then adds them to their previous rounds' total, check to see if anyone reached the goal/limit. If no one has reached the goal all cards are shuffled together and players are dealt new hands.
Golden Acorn - If you have in your hand when Winter is played you score +5 points. It trumps all other Number Cards during a Quarrel. However once played, it must be discarded after it is played and is lost for the rest of the game, you may not discard the Golden Acorn unless it is the last card in your hand when discarding.
Rotten Acorn - If you have in your hand when Winter is played you score -5 points. It can only be passed during a Quarrel, Cycle, or Ambush. You may not discard the Lead Acorn into the ‘Hoard Pile’ unless it is the last card in your hand when discarding.
*If you have only the Golden Acorn and the Rotten Acorn, you may discard the Rotten Acorn over the Gold Acorn at the end of your turn.
Why do I enjoy S'Quarrels? Well not only is it a great game to play with my younger cousins but we have come up with pretty great drinking rules:
1. Each time you store acorns you give out drinks equal to the number of the set you stored.
2. When you get the Rotten Acorn you have to chug your drink whether you draw it or are given it by an Action Card.
3. Before slapping the Hoard Pile when a Hoard Card is played you must chug your drink.
Who Would Enjoy S'Quarrels?
Family Gamers - One of the problems of keeping games entirely PG is the lack of interaction or at least the lack of exciting interaction. In S'Quarrels each Action Card effects every player so there is always something happening that keeps all players involved. The rules are simple enough that you can teach anyone in your family and they will all have a good time. I think where S'Quarrels shines brightest is its ability to be played by kids without outside assistance.
Casual Gamers - Something to play with beer and pretzels or with your friends who "don't play games", I always need more games to play while we wait for the last person to show up for our game night. You decide the time limit by setting the goal to play to and most importantly you can teach it quickly to anybody you know.