S’quarrels was a serendipitous find in an airport bookshop. On our way home from a family vacation we were stranded in an airport for 12 hours and I went in search of a novelty for the kids. I had never heard of this card game before, but S’Quarrels is now a family favorite and was an easy choice for my game of the month selection.
(Note: affiliate links are included below.)
I’ve never played a card game quite like S’Quarrels before. It has elements of Rummy, Old Maid, even War. The objective is to gather as many acorn cards as you come before the winter card is drawn. Each turn requires players to draw and discard. Acorn cards are numbered and when players acquire a set of 3 like-numbered acorn cards, they can add them to their “hoard pile.” Scattered throughout the deck are action cards, with names like “Ambush” or “Whirlwind” or “Quarrel”. These cards require players to perform tasks before normal game play can resume.
Thoughts on Playing S’Quarrels with Kids:
- The official S’Quarrels recommendation is for ages 7 and up. My 5 year old quickly learned the rules after a couple of rounds and was able to play by himself.
- Good sportsmanship is essential when playing S’Quarrels. Because the action cards may require the redistribution of cards players could be disappointed when their strategy is suddenly disrupted. This is the biggest reason for the age recommendation. My younger son had a much harder time with this, especially when he lost the “Golden Acorn” card during an “Ambush.”
- While there is some strategy involved in determining when to keep cards, when to discard them, there is a huge element of luck, which levels the playing field when playing with the whole family.
- As usual, my kids opted not to play for points, but if your family enjoys keeping score, the method is similar to Rummy in which a predetermined number of rounds are played and the total score added up.
- Any game that can keep my kids occupied and happy for 12 hours in an airport has my seal of approval. No joke.
More unique card games to love:
See all my game of the month recommendations.