Quarto is a four-in-a-row Tic-Tac-Toe style two-player game originally designed by Blaise Muller in 1991. It's played on a 4 x 4 wooden board with 16 chunky wooden pieces which are all either natural or stained wood, tall or short, square or round, and solid or hollow-topped.
To win, you need to get four pieces in a row which all share any one characteristic (for example, all the same colour or all the same height). That's mildly interesting but you'd be forgiven for thinking it sounds rather routine. However, Quarto has a twist to it. On your turn, you don't get to choose which piece you play: your opponent picks a piece and hands it to you; your choice then is where to place it. Likewise, you get to choose the piece your opponent places out.
It's an unusual concept and it's what turns an otherwise routine Tic-Tac-Toe variant into a more subtle game where success demands an additional level of forward planning.
There have been other editions of Quarto from other publishers but shown here is the version that is part of Gigamic's wooden games range. This edition is beautifully produced, to the extent that it's a game that doubles as a sculptural table display in its own right. The game is distributed in the UK by Hachette Board Games.
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