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Subject: A Review of Quaro, written in 1976 rss

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Eamon Bloomfield
Germany
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
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The English rules start ‘a strategic game of colourful patterns which change at every stroke!’ Whether the latter are of the ‘master’, ‘pussy-cat’, or ‘medical’ variety is not stated, however we all survived.

Quaro is a ‘four-in-a- row’ type game involving a set of 48 counters in four different colours. These are played onto a cross-shaped board with the object of scoring points by the formation of lines of four dif-ferently coloured counters. Each distinct line of four such counters scores one point. For example, suppose the board contained the straight-line sequence: Blue, Yellow, Red, (blank), Red, Yellow, Blue. By playing a green counter into the blank space a player would score one point for the line Blue, Yellow, Red, Green, and another point for the line Green, Red, Yellow, Blue. After scoring a player immediately takes one further turn so it is possible to achieve scoring ‘chain-reactions’. However, these are limited in length because a player holds at most four counters with which to play during a single turn. At the end of the turn his holding is replenished from a bag containing new counters.

As for most of the German games, the equipment is robust and elegant. The board is a moulded plastic tray with depressions for the counters. The latter are solid jobs over one cm. in height. They are built to stack on one another though stacking is not allowed for Quaro. The counters are in bright ‘electric’ colours which, for this reviewer, produce a rather confusing ‘jumble’ on the board. This is not so much a fault of the game as a matter of perceptual psychology. Pastel colours might have been preferable.

Whilst there are many ‘N-in-a-row’ games, Quaro successfully combines many of their good features. The middle-game is the most interesting phase in which there are many opportunities to plan high-scoring turns. There is always the chance, however, that having set up something clever, one picks the wrong colours out of the bag. Certainly a game which I will enjoy playing again.
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