Qwinto Is a Short but Sweet Roll-and-Write Game | Casual Game Revolution

Qwinto Is a Short but Sweet Roll-and-Write Game


With the growing popularity of roll and writes, there are many games in the genre being released. But as they become more ambitious and complex, sometimes you just want something simple and easy to play.

Published by Pandasaurus Games, Qwinto is a 2016 Spiel des Jahres Recommended game. It can be taught in a couple of minutes, keeps its rules short and sweet, and is a breeze to play.


Each player takes a sheet from the game pad. Each sheet shows the same thing: there are three rows of three different colors, each one matching the color of one of the game’s three dice: yellow, purple, and orange. Each row has nine empty spaces for writing numbers in. The rows are staggered in such a way to form columns. Sometimes there will be one number space alone in a column, sometimes there will be two, and sometimes three. In each column with three, one of the number spaces is shaped like a pentagon. These are special: if you manage to fill in all three spaces in a column, you will earn points equal to the number written into the pentagon space.

On your turn you choose how many of the dice to roll and which ones. You then roll them and add the results together. As it is your turn you must write the resulting number into one of the colored spaces on your sheet or you must mark off one of the failed attempt spaces. When adding the number, the row color you choose must be the same color as one of the dice you rolled. Each other player may choose whether or not to add the number to their sheet, following the same color rule. If they choose not to add the number, they do not have to mark off a fail attempt, as it wasn’t their turn.

When adding numbers to your sheet, you may add them to a row in any order, but they must always be in ascending value from left to right. Also, the same number cannot appear in a single column.

The game ends once a player has completely filled two of her rows or marked off all four of her failed attempt spaces. For each incomplete row, you earn one point for each number you have written in. For completed rows you earn points equal to the number in the rightmost space. You then earn points for completed columns, and lose five points for each failed attempt. The player with the most points wins the game.

Qwinto Components


Qwinto’s beauty is its simplicity. The rules are straightforward and can be taught in two minutes tops, while setup is easy. Scoring, where most roll-and-writes become complicated, is short and sweet, and the gameplay itself is fast but still engaging.

Players are given some interesting choices. On your turn you can control which colors to roll and have to consider the odds of rolling certain numbers based on the number of dice you choose. While luck is still very much present, as you’d expect from a dice game, this element of choice enables you to push your luck at times, strategize, and decide where your best odds lie.

There’s also no down time since you still decide on an opponent’s turn whether to add a number to your sheet or not, which can be an intriguing choice in itself as the roll might be something that could limit your options later — but at the same time you want to complete those rows to make them worth more points and don’t want to fall too far behind the other players.

It is a very simple game, with no theme whatsoever, and as such it won’t appeal to everyone. But we liked the streamlined gameplay and found it quite satisfying. It’s fast enough that you don’t feel it needs any extra bells and whistles and it’s always pleasant to find an easy game to dip in and out of.

Pros: Speed, uncomplicated, no downtime

Cons: May be too simplistic for some players

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.