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Zack Green
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I truly hope that there will be a day when the first abstract strategy games people think of are Quarto, Chess, and Checkers. Quarto is far better and more fun than the other two I mentioned, and definitely up there with the best I've ever played.

The game is played on a 4x4 grid, and there are 16 pieces. Each piece has four possible qualities: Short or tall, dark or light, square or round, and hollow or filled. The game is simple: try to line up pieces that all share one common quality (i.e. all short) in lines of four. When this happens, you have a Quarto, and you win the round. The catch is, you don't have to stop your opponents from winning by blocking. You choose which piece they play. The strategy is to strategically place pieces and exploit your opponents' mistakes so they are forced to give to the cruicial winning piece. However, you can accidentally do this to yourself.

A good strategy is to get three in a row of both alternatives of a specific quality (i.e. light and dark), thus preventing your opponent from giving you a piece that doesn't win you the game. But it's easy to be careless. One killer is hollow and filled: it's easy to recognize the hollow pieces, but it's not always so easy to remember to give your opponent a hollow one if you have three non-hollow pieces lined up, ready to become a Quarto. This game really taxes your brain, making it basically a contest between you and your opponent over who can spend more time analyzing every possible piece of the situation. Not that this is a bad thing, of course. In fact, it's a lot of fun.

Quarto is, in my opinion, one of the greatest games of all time. There is no excuse not to pick it up, except maybe if you happen to be broke.

Rating: 10 out of 10.
 
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