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Subject: The game is fun, but it's at least a little broken rss

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Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Spoiler warning: The game has 17 black Quao cards, of which four are used each game. The game warns you not to read these in advance, adn it does cut into the replay value of the game to know the actual contents of these cards. In the article below, I am revealing two of these cards, because I need to discuss what went wrong with them.

We played a six player game of Quao. None of us had played before, but a seventh person who was quite familiar with the game taught us. At first I was put off by the "truth or dare" element to the Jaquas and Quak cards, but then I got into the fun of the game.

For the second round we had one Quao rule: If anyone asks "Whose turn is it?", they have to draw a card. We griped about this, but I quickly found out that "Is it Mark's turn?" was okay. I won the second round so I was the second Quao. I got to read the first Quao rule, plus a second which I wasn't reveal, since it is not relevant to my main gripe. Since I was now seeing the first Quao card, I could see that the former Quao had been enforcing it properly. Then someone else was third Quao.

I said "It's Lindsay's turn", and Quao said "Draw a card". I said, "No I said 'It's Lindsay's turn'" and Quao said "Draw another card". I now realized that he was enforcing the third Quao rule, not the first. I drew the two cards, but I should have drawn only one, because Quao hadn't read the bold text. The bold text is the player's clue to figure out the rule; without the bold text I was deprived of that important clue. When he enforced this rule on another person I finally insisted that he read the exact text. In this case it was "Okay (name of person), draw a card". He wasn't saying it exactly because he was new to the group and didn't know people's names. Once we knew the clue, we knew it was about saying people's names.

Unfortunately, he was enforcing the rule wrong. The rule was that you drew a card if you addressed a person by name, and he was enforcing it anytime you said a person's name. This is part of the game--Quao is dictator and Quao is always right--but it caused a serious problem: We couldn't ask "Whose turn is it?" and we couldn't mention anyone by name, so no one knew how to stimulate the next player to act. The game just crawled after that.

The game was fun, but it has low replay value. Actually cycling through the 54 white cards is a more serious replayability problem than the 17 black cards. You only use 4 of the 17 black cards, but you cycle through the 54 white cards at least three times in the course of one game. Fill in "The last time I _____ I _____" gets tiring the third time around. It's good for the occaisional silly filler game, but not as good as Stupiduel or Apples to Apples or Fluxx or Aquarius.
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Tony Llama
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Milligan College
Tennessee
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I agree with the assessment, having also played it once. However, I'm trying to get a group of people together to play it again and we reduced the number of rounds to 3 which seemed to be a better length of time for the game.
 
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