Tag Archives: Quarrel

The only way to Quarrel is with an anagram solver

final quarrel thoughts cheating gd

Words are wonderful; trust me, I copyedit for a living. Not surprisingly, I enjoy a great number of word-based games, such as Scrabble, Scattegories, Apples to Apples, Zip-It, Balderdash, and so on. Basically, if it lets me flex my word-creation or word-pairing muscles, I’m in. However, I’ve never been great at seeing anagrams, especially under a tight time limit, which is why I quickly dropped away from Quarrel a week or two after I got it back in January 2012. You might have noticed that I “completed” it a few weeks back, giving it its very own haiku.

By “completed,” I am talking about the critical path to defeating everyone in the Showdown mode, as well as dominating the known Quarrel world through the domination mode. Both these modes are various scenarios where you battle against one, two, or sometimes three AI-controlled opponents, all fighting for colored territory. There is online play and a number of challenges and Achievements to go for, but I think I’m mostly done going after those. Also, by “completed” I totally mean cheated.

The process went like this. Since I always was picked to go last in both the Showdown and Domination modes, this meant waiting and watching. If an opponent attacked another opponent not named PaulyAulyWog, my girlfriend and I would quickly look at the eight letters given to us, pause the action, and then load up an anagram solver on her cell phone. After plopping down all the letters, she’d select an eight-letter word and tell me what to create. I’d do this as quickly as possible, though sometimes my fingers would slip or I’d hit the wrong letter by accident, forcing me to panic and swiftly amend my error. So long as I got the anagram submitted in time before the two other players put in their answers, I was awarded an extra back-up unit, which are beyond helpful. The process, more or less, went the same when I got attacked, but it was never a guarantee I’d win because I might not have enough letters or still was too slow when buttoning in.

Honestly, I don’t feel too terrible about using an anagram solver for Quarrel. I would for nearly every other word-based game, especially the ones I mentioned earlier. For many of the Showdown and Domination matches, the first fight against you is absolutely crucial for determining how well the remainder of the round will go. If you don’t win or at least take a prisoner early on, it’s basically over, and not a whole bag of fun to sit through everybody’s turns knowing you are a lost cause. Perhaps there are people out there that see a string of six to eight letters and immediately, within seconds, know what the strongest word to create is–I am not those people. Before giving in and relying on an anagram solver, I attempted to play these two modes, only getting as far as two or three rounds in, and those were farces, with me somehow staying alive long enough to watch everyone else kill each other and feast on their remains when the smoke cleared.

When you’re tasked with creating a three- or four-letter word against an opponent with the same objective, speed often trumps complexity. However, when you have the opportunity to make an eight-letter anagram, you make that eight-letter anagram. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what arsenite or ergatoid means; they are knockout words, and the faster you put them down, the stronger your army will grow. You might be quick enough to remember those eight mixed up letters and pause the game yourself to search for a word, but I recommend having a partner next to you. Eventually, my girlfriend would begin memorizing the first four letters, and then I’d pause, giving her the last four, and saving us a second or two of time. That might not seem like much, but Quarrel‘s AI opponents do not kid around. Unless we’re talking about Dwayne, that is.

So yeah, Quarrel. There’s a lot to like; on the flip side, there’s a lot to dislike, and perhaps it speaks to the quality of the game’s challenge that I had to look outside my noggin for extra help. Again, maybe there are super geniuses out there with fingers like that one bot from Ghost in the Shell that can figure out the anagram right away and submit it faster than light. I suspect many might not suffer the same difficulties as I did, but this is one puzzle game that was more frustrating than fun, even when you figured out the way to win.

2015 Game Review Haiku, #56 – Quarrel

2015 gd games completed quarrel xbla

A battle of words
Can’t see the anagrams, pause
Look up, rearrange

From 2012 all through 2013, I wrote little haikus here at Grinding Down about every game I beat or completed, totaling 104 in the end. I took a break from this format last year in an attempt to get more artsy, only to realize that I missed doing it dearly. So, we’re back. Or rather, I am. Hope you enjoy my continued take on videogame-inspired Japanese poetry in three phases of 5, 7, and 5, respectively.

The Sword of Hope II is srprsngly fntstc and addctng

A few days ago, I treated myself to $10.00 of spending e-bucks for the Nintendo 3DS eshop. Y’know, my favorite place to buy digital videogames. I kid, I kid. Actually, it’s gotten a whole lot better since I last perused the shop with a purpose, and I saw a whole bunch of strong contenders, but sadly, most of those titles costed $7.00 or $8.00, and I’m always trying to get the most for the very least. Yes, I shop at The Dollar Tree quite frequently, and yes, I’m proud of it.

Anyways, here’s what I actually ended up getting, leaving my account with just $0.40 left over:

  • 3,2,1…Words Up!
  • Kirby’s Pinball Land
  • The Sword of Hope II

The first two listed above are perfect for quick gaming on the side. 3,2,1…Words Up! is quite similar to a Facebook game I used to play with family members called Wordtwist, wherein you are given a bunch of letters and a time limit, and have to create as many different words from those letters as you can. Less stressful and more fun than Quarrel, that’s for sure. And pinball is pinball, no matter what character or theme or brand name you slap in front of it.

Most surprising of these purchases has been The Sword of Hope II. It’s a game I’ve never heard of before, and the sequel to another game I never heard of. Both were released long, long ago in the early 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy, and I was only interested in Mario and Tetris back then, so it’s not shocking that I missed these releases. Chances are, you did too, and so it’s a little strange to see the second game in the franchise get a re-release for 3DSWare, but I’m guessing that, of the two, it is the superior adventure.

Now, I can admit that it is not a superior adventure in the grand scheme of adventures, but it is a lot of fun. It’s old-school RPGness in the style of games like Wizardry and Bard’s Tale, with single-screen rooms and text-based actions like “look,” “hit,” and “open.” You control Prince Theo, who is sent out into the wild to recover the Sword of Hope yet again (um, see the previous game, I guess) to stop some evil wizard guy. Yeah, it’s generic story-stuff and not entirely examined any deeper than that. Since claiming the game’s wiki page on Giant Bomb as my own, I’ve scoured the Internet for more details, but there isn’t much out there. So I’m updating the page as I play in hopes of nailing down who did what to whom and why.

Battles are turn-based. You can attack, use magic, or opt for an item. Some characters learn spells, others attack with melee weapons, like rapiers, swords, and knives. I only have three characters in my company so far, and here’s how they break down: Theo is strong with sword, Mute is magical, and Nina is a waste of space. Winning battles earns money and experience, with the occasional special coin, which you can sell for a smooth 150 gold. It’s been pretty clear when I am supposed to be grinding, too. Y’know, RPG stuff.

The most entertaining part of The Sword of Hope II stems from the character limit problem on the Nintendo Game Boy had. It starts pretty innocently enough, with CAVE BHD WTRFALL:

I get that. Not enough room for all the descriptive text. I can still quickly read that as CAVE BEHIND WATERFALL and move on with the game. But then Prince Theo and company arrive here, and I’m stopped dead in my tracks, mouth agape, completely befuddled:

The…what? Fort TNT? IT’S GONNA BLOOOOW!

Oh, oh. All right.

There’s even more brain-bending names that don’t fit throughout the game, including some humorous items and weapons in shop menus. Like the WDN BMRNG. But I won’t spoil ’em all. I highly recommend you check the game out if you have a 3DS; The Sword of Hope II is only $2.99, and it’s a solid price for some straightforward RPGing that is more addicting than first impressions imply.

Achievements of the Week – The Sideways Explorer Turns the Tables Edition

I’m too lazy to check if this is actually a first, but a goal I made on last week’s edition of Achievements of the Week was actually met. Which one? Um, keep on reading, loyal readers. I also did fairly well in some other videogames, but they don’t deserve the spotlight quite like Rhaegar does for hanging out in the Mojave Wasteland and shooting the crap out of evil automatons. Oops, guess I spoiled it.

Here we go!

From Fallout: New Vegas…


Curios and Relics (15G): Cause 10,000 damage with unique Mojave Wasteland weapons.

Last week, I knew I wanted to get this Achievement, but I had no idea how close I was to the actual 10,000 threshold mark. I’d been playing for some time at that point–maybe around 25 to 30 hours–and while I wasn’t using unique Mojave Wasteland weapons all the time, I was making a conscious effort to whip out That Gun as much as possible. Guess I was right near the finish line as it was only within an hour or so of playing again that this baby popped.

From Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds…


Excelsior! (10G): Perform 10 Team Aerial Combos. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)


Turn the Tables (10G): Land a Team Aerial Counter in a match. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)

No idea how I got these; I just mash those buttons like a crazy man.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Explorer (40G): Discover 100 Locations


Sideways (20G): Complete 10 side quests

Sure, these two Achievements seem like natural fits for unlocking after playing a game for over seventy-five hours. I can understand the location-based one, as I’m a homebody and creature of comfort and do not enjoy venturing out into the wild too much, content to spend time in my Whiterun house or within the secretive lair for the Thieves Guild.

The side quests one? Hmm, maybe that needs a whole blog post for explaining. Yeah, that’s it. More content spread out over this hip and happening place of mine. Stay tuned.

From Quarrel…

Just blogged about this wonderful wordy game and the three Achievements I unlocked this morning.

That’s it for this week’s edition. It seems like, with each week, Friday gets here faster than before. Go figure. And it looks like yet another busy weekend. We’ll see if I make any further progress with the almighty, all powerful, and all too important Achievements list.

For those readers out there playing Skyrim, have you hit 100 locations yet? Do you remember your 100th one? Mine was Broken Oar Grotto.

I have no quarrel with Quarrel

I am a word nerd. Always have been, always will be. I guess this is obvious if you know me in real life, as I’ve been a copyeditor for the past seven to eight years. I see letters, I see words, and for the last chunk of life, I’ve been correcting misspelled words. It’s a disease. I just can’t help but notice errors or better ways to write something. And so I was very delighted to see a Quick Look of Quarrel over at GiantBomb, which is a game that’s been out on other platforms for some time now, but I’ve never heard of it because my cell phone is pre-600 B.C. I was sold immediately, especially at the appealing price tag of $5.00 (or 400 Microsoft Points) on Xbox Live.

Anyways, Quarrel…it’s a mix of Scrabble and Risk. Maybe some Boggle, too. Basically, each player is given different cuts of land on a shared map, and to capture enemy territory, you have to create a better word than them from a mix of random letters. The size of the word is limited to the number of soldiers you have when attacking, which can be increased by making kick-ass words or recruiting them from other controlled slices. It’s also a race against time, as sometimes you and your opponent will enter words worth the same value, with the winner being decided by who was the fastest.

Check out the three Achievements I’ve unlocked so far, which clearly show off my supreme wordage skills:


A Rag Man (5G): You made your first ever Quarrel anagram.


Unbeaten! (20G): You capably captured Starfish Bay in Domination without losing a single quarrel.


Incrediword! (15G): You made a whale of a word worth at least 20 points.

The aspect that I’m loving about Quarrel so far is how quickly a match can swing from being in your favor to being your worst nightmare. Last night, before bed, I decided to do one more match, a four-way between me and three computer-controlled opponents: Malik, Caprice, and Dwayne. I got picked to go last, so I sat, watching as the other players duked it out, trying to make anagrams  during their fights. When my turn came, I began dominating, since most of my enemies’ territories were now down in size, squashing their “OH” and “IT” with “SCRUB” and “LAZY”. I was able to take out Caprice and Dwayne, stopping to earn some new recruits. Then it was a back and forth between Malik and I, with me eventually flubbing up one too many times, and then he destroyed me. Even if you have eight troops to make an eight-letter word, a player with a four-letter word can still pull the rug out from under you.

But yeah, Quarrel! I’m gonna play some more this weekend, hopefully. Seems like a great chaser between stress and trying to get done a thousand and five artsy things for MegaCon and MOCCA. It costs $5.00, and you should get it, and then we should wage war against each other with words. Seriously, find me. Message me at PaulyAulyWog. Word!