Qwirkle Update

Back in the summer of 2011, I did this little post on one of our favorite family games, Qwirkle. Well it is still a beloved choice for entertainment to us, and brings much joy and laughter to many of our evenings in the Van Vleet home.

It is also the source of many fun surprises, and one such surprise just the other day is worthy of a mention on littlefeats. Dee pointed out an important legally-allowable strategy that we had missed out on all this time. And because of her eye-opening discovery, the game will take on a whole new level of point-achieving creativity!

Now I first have to mention, in case you don’t already know this, that Dee’s brain and the way her mind works are precious and special to me. And often times I can share in empathy with Scar from the Lion King as he interacts with his loyal hyena followers, and the vacant expressions he bafflingly has to observe on far too frequent an occasion.

“It’s clear from your vacant expressions, the lights are not all on upstairs”

Let me tell you that I have stories (lots of stories), that still cause me to laugh with tears when I recount them. Incidents where I feel my life more enriched and most privileged because of the hilarity of Dee’s thought process (and many times Gracie’s, too) when we do learning related things.

Anyways, back to the marvel of this post… I guess it was on account of MY “reading” the directions and rules (translate as “skim over”) when we first received the game that set in motion how we have gone about playing Qwirkle for the past two years. In the game you are allowed to play as many pieces as you can on your turn, as long as they are all matching in either the attribute of color, or attribute of shape. And we just sort of fell into a pattern that the matching colors went one way on the resulting game board, and that the matching shapes went perpendicular.

In this picture, matching colors are vertical and the matching shapes are horizontal.

After all this time of playing like this, and never questioning to do otherwise, you can imagine that Rob and I were completely in awe that Dee announces we do something contrary to this adherence. She let us know that she has not only read the directions (on her own accord, which is crazy-outside of her usual type of things she takes the initiative on), but that she has also made a new discovery into the rules!! I can’t say that she read them in their entirety (pictures below). But it is obvious that she read through all the scenarios (and comprehended them) listed on page 3.

Pages 8,1,4, and 5 of the fold-over direction pamphlet

Pages 2,7, 6, and 3 of the fold-over direction pamphlet

Here is a closeup of something key we had missed on page 3. See scenario F.

Do you see it? A line of squares running both horizontal AND perpendicular!

We never knew that you could have the same type of matching attribute running both horizontal AND perpendicular. And actually, when attempts were made to play that way early on it was with MY forceful insistence this was absolutely against the rules, there was forced refrain from doing so (way to go, mom!)

So…. Way to go Dee!! We are very impressed and astounded that you didn’t settle for someone else’s interpretation of the printed words (I can see such great benefit for this ability down the road in all things historical and political and even religious)!! I will never doubt that expressionless face of yours again. From now on I will just assume that there are deep ponderings and contemplations taking place :-) Even when you answer with, ‘Asia’ when I hold up the continent flashcard for Australia (Despite the fact that we have been doing them daily for the last year. At least I know it is an improvement from when you used to answer ‘Texas’).

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One Response to Qwirkle Update

  1. Whit says:

    Sweet Dee… The hyena face is so much like hers… But I will say that I’ve known there was a different kind of brilliance behind that vacant expression. She may not be Halle’s kind of intelligent but there is something to that little Dee… Just look at her outfit choices! She marches to her own drummer. Overflowing with creativity and uniqueness. Miss you guys!

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