Age level: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School
Description: Qwixx is a new dice game from one of my favorite game companies, Gamewright. While the rules are fairly simple, it can become quite complex as each turn requires players to make decisions that impact the rest of the game. To play, each player receives a scorecard (pictured below) and has the goal of crossing out as many numbers in each of the four rows as possible. However, once they’ve crossed out a number in a row, they are no longer able to cross out any more numbers to the left of that number. As the game goes on, it gets progressively more difficult. While I have played this with students, I feel that I should also admit that I played this quite a bit with my mom on our last family vacation!
Skills & Modifications: This game is more challenging than it first appears, and it is difficult to modify. Before introducing it, you must be sure that your learner can add quickly and is able to follow multiple steps for each turn.
Addition – In order to play this game, your learner(s) must be able to add relatively quickly. If they cannot, the game becomes very slow and your learner(s) may lose motivation. Remember, the idea is to keep it fun!
Managing Information – All players are managing multiple pieces of information during this game: the color of each die, the spots that are still available on each row of their scorecard, the number of boxes they have marked in each row of their scorecard, and more. This can be challenging for many learners with autism or other developmental delays. You may want to create some sort of task list for them that describes the basic steps for each turn.
Probability – As part of the decision-making process, each player must understand the probability of rolling different numbers on future rolls to make the best decisions. The more players play, the more their understanding of basic probability increases. You can help learners understand this by asking leading questions, or by actually writing it out for them. For example, you might ask, how many ways could you make six, compared to how many ways can you make twelve by rolling these dice?
Problem Solving – During the game, you may find that you have to make some tough decisions about what numbers to cross out. Each player must use their knowledge of probability to come up with best solutions on each roll.
Accepting Losing A Game/Flexibility – While the game does allow for strategy, there’s also quite a bit of luck involved. It’s possible that one roll of the dice can make it impossible for you to keep playing with one color or cause you to earn a penalty, therefore losing five points. If your learner is motivated by dice games, this can be a good way to practice being flexible about things not going your way because the game is pretty fast-paced.
Pros: This is a fantastic game for your learners who love math facts and are quick with remembering them. While it’s easier to maintain motivation by keeping a fast pace of play, I also appreciate that players can all play at their own pace.
Cons: Because it requires players to focus on many pieces of information at the same time, it is not a good fit for many learners with autism. Some of my students were able to play it, but did not enjoy it the way they enjoy other games.
Extending the Lesson – For more probability experiments, take a look at this lesson plan.
Cost: $10.99 You should invest in this game if: you are an elementary teacher, you are seeking fun games for learners who are motivated by math facts, or you are looking for entertaining family games for older learners.
**Qwixx was provided to me for free by the company Gamewright for the purposes of this review. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.