Quarrel First Look Preview

We grab land and spell our way to victory in this downloadable anagram game.

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E3 2011: Described as a mixture of well-known board games, Boggle and Risk, Quarrel is an upcoming downloadable game that aims to bring the fun of building empires with the challenge of un-jumbling letters to form real words.

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Each map is divided into colored islands with up to eight characters on one team per chunk of land. Each of the four players (or you and three AI competitors) takes turns attacking and defending by using armies to submit words. At the beginning of each round, eight single letter tiles are introduced with one perfect eight-letter anagram. The team who submits the highest value word wins the round. If you were attacking, you will take control of the opposing team's property for victory; if you were defending, you'll hold your ground and take one of the opposing team's characters as a prisoner. You can then force your captive to hold up one of your giant letters to earn more points. War is horrible.

There's no timer to contend with as you rack your brain, but by tapping the controller's shoulder button you can further mix up the same letters in hopes of spotting an easy answer. Players are working with the same anagram, so if both sides submit the same answer, the person fastest to do so wins. Successfully claiming the land of one of your opponents also rewards you with a treasure chest filled with virtual currency and points, which you can then spend on in-game unlockables. Answers need to be real words; no proper nouns allowed. While the game currently includes multiple dictionaries--coming from UK developer, Denki--some European slang is admissible. The game's American publisher, UTV, hopes that the game's dictionary support will continue to grow beyond simply localizing the game for European nations.

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Quarrel will support local and online play for up to four players, and when playing solo, each of the game's artificial intelligence has been designed to respond differently. Some AI excels at longer seven- and eight-letter-word answers, whereas some are stronger at high-scoring short words. Maps will come in various sizes and larger landmasses that take longer to play, but UTV hopes to also release additional layouts as downloadable content once it goes on sale.

Final pricing and release date haven't yet been confirmed, but UTV is hoping the game will sell for about $10 when it hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Stay tuned for more details on Quarrel soon.

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