Quarrel – A first rate educational game that almost never got made.

My small family uploaded ‘Quarrel’ from Xbox live a few days ago because it was free. It’s a mixture of the old board game ‘Risk’ and ‘Scrabble’, players have to make better words than their opponents to take over their part of the map. The person who controls the whole map wins.

As a teacher and someone who is professionally interested in education and particularly e-learning, I was loathe to spend Friday night making words with my kids. I would have preferred some real action, involving zombies or motorbikes, but Quarrel won us all over pretty quickly. To my amazement I found myself buying Quarrel for 400 Xbox live points (about £3.25) and we’ve been playing all weekend.

It’s hard to believe then, that Quarrel was nearly never released. Developed by Denki it was rejected time after time by leading games publishers because they did not think a word game would be interesting enough to make money. (see the full article here http://uk.xboxlive.ign.com/articles/121/1217197p1.html) Games publisher didn’t think like me, did they? Did they think that games that aren’t full of action won’t make money?

Actually, Quarrel is full of action, but it’s based around making words so you can defeat and kill enemy soldiers. The action depends on how well you can make words from a number of different letters.

My son already knew how to spell the word ‘who’ and when he used it in battle he was overjoyed to find out how powerful it was. There’s your education, right there. You learn this so you can do this.

We need more games like Quarrel, so before they do get made, lets support this great game. If you’ve got an Xbox and are hooked up to Xbox live, search for it in the Arcade section and download it.

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