Author’s Note: This review is of the party game ‘Quirk!’. I wrote it for publication, however, because it was too negative it was declined. As a fun game, have a drink every time I clearly didn’t like the game. 

 

I try to avoid direct comparisons in reviews; I believe that a game should be judged on its own merits. In the case of Quirk!, however, such comparisons are unavoidable. For all the originality that its name suggests, Quirk! is Go Fish. It sounds reductive, and it is, but Quirk! follows this blueprint by the book with only slight innovation. Truth be told, Quirk! is anything but quirky.

Go Fish

In Emmerse Studios’ game, a group of two to six players shuffle all fifty-six cards and deal three to each player. These cards include character quirks – such as a sheep, pirate or cat – which players need to collect in sets of three to gain points. As soon as a player has a set of three matching character quirks, they place them face-up in front of them and briefly bask in smug satisfaction. There are thirteen different sets of character quirks to collect in total, and once all are on the board the game ends, with the player with the most sets winning.

To collect these character quirks, players choose one from their own hand, choose a player, and hope that player has any matching cards. If they do, they hand them over, redrawing to a minimum hand size of three. If they don’t, the asking player has to Go Fish – I mean, Go Quirk, drawing a card from the deck.

The other cards are divided into ‘tactics’ which yield broader results, such as the ‘Zoo’ card which takes an animal quirk from a player; Skip cards – which cause a player to lose a turn; and Defence cards – which a player can use to avoid handing over any of their cards, telling the asking player to ‘Quirk Off!’.

Quirk Game Box Review Michael Wheatley

Go Quirk

What Quirk! does differently is in how cards are requested. Instead of a player simply asking ‘got any super models?’ (which I always do) there are two different symbols at the bottom of each card: one for ‘Noise’ and one for ‘Actions’. Depending on what symbols are on a player’s card, they request that quirk from another player by following those instructions. For instance, the sheep character quirk has a noise symbol, meaning the player would baa; the mime character quirk has an action symbol, meaning the player would need to mime to request that card; and the zoo card has both, meaning the player has to pretend to be from animal protection services… we never quite figured that quirk out.

It sounds quite fun, and it is. At first. With a suggested age range of 5+, this more active and zany method of requesting cards has clear appeal to young people, whilst in older groups the sheer initial awkwardness of the tasks leads to many humorous moments. The problem is that this gimmick soon wears thin, and then you’re left playing Go Fish. As hilarious as Cathy’s elephant impression may be the first time around, seven turns later when she’s still desperately waving her trunk, the novelty disappears and you start to wonder whether you should just put her down.

Meanwhile, whilst the card quality itself is worth noting, the art reflects Quirk! as a whole in its lack of originality. With the ‘Super Cute’ card having the only art which truly stands out, other quirks such as ‘Wink’, ‘Super Model’ or ‘Boring Fart’ are uninspired, wikiHow-esque doodles which had me longing for the same uniqueness I wished the game had overall.

Also of note is Quirk! Legends, the same game but with palette-swapped characters, as dragons replace dogs. However, the gameplay seems identical to the original Quirk!, meaning it would most likely suffer from the same faults.

Quirk Game Contents Michael Wheatley

Go Buy?

Ultimately, Quirk! is fine. I can’t say it’s anything more than that, but from the art to the gameplay, it is serviceable enough. The problem is that with so many party games in the market right now, Quirk! does little to stand out. For an evening of board games, I cannot see myself suggesting it, whilst even as a quick time-killer there are better options.

Quirk! simply does not have the replay-ability or variation to sustain itself. For its target market of families and young children, a degree of randomness can keep games like Quirk! fresh. Don’t Say It! or even Twister follow clear formulas, but invite unpredictability. With Quirk!, a parrot impression can only go so far until you all Quirk Off.