Quarto - A nervous game

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Project by vipond33 posted 08-21-2011 05:36 AM 8849 views 70 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my take on what Gigamic, the original French makers of Quarto, touts as the most awarded game in the world. That may be true, but what is true is this is a most fiendish and addictive game, where kids and adults quickly play on a dead level field.

The play is this: Each of the 16 pieces has 4 different attributes. In my version they are: Square/rectangle, Tall/short, Dark/light, Plain/brass dot. The aim is to line up 4 pieces orthogonally or diagonally, all sharing just one of the same attributes. The tricky part is that you can’t choose which piece you’re going to play – your opponent chooses for you. You must look ahead in all directions, in six different planes of thought when offering the piece to your opponent. Yet relax, it all comes naturally, quite easily to anyone after only a few minutes of playing. Each game lasts only about 10-15 minutes at most with an immediate urge to go again. My daughter beat me 4 times out of five in the first few games. See if I raise her allowance.

The universal playing board of nine squares (3×3), or 16 points (4×4), is solid Bird’s eye maple with a solid Jatoba border, inlaid on the edge with tulip wood. Size is 11” square. This is the basic surface for at least a dozen games that I can think of and is well worth building. The playing pieces are Bird’s eye maple and Kingwood with threaded brass screw covers. About 1” thick, 1 1/2” to 2 1/4” tall.

The simple storage box with a loose lid is from a piece of poplar (American white wood) that I fished from the garbage at work. Sometimes I just don’t believe the guys I work with. It also incorporates one of my favourite little box/frame tricks; that of matching the grain on all four corners. The finish on everything is Tried and True oil with varnish followed by Goddard’s wax. Prospective builders could think of many variations on a theme – turners and carvers may be especially rewarded.

Travel over to for more info and for an funny animated manufacturers video.

About 25 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

13 comments so far

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5367 days

#1 posted 08-21-2011 06:36 AM

never heard of it, but sounds interesting, thanks for sharing and nice work.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4556 days

#2 posted 08-21-2011 06:40 AM

Wow, this is one “NEAT” little game Gene…...I really like your choice of woods for the board / pieces and love the storage box….. Isn’t matching all 4 corners fun !!!

This one is a favorite and hope to make one similar in the future for “fun”....

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4773 days

#3 posted 08-21-2011 06:42 AM

An interesting sounding game, and a well done project. I can see why you do the matching grain on the 4 corners, it looks real sharp.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View mnpete's profile


226 posts in 3718 days

#4 posted 08-21-2011 07:16 AM

Very cool Gene! I really like the poplar box. Thanks for the link to the rules too.

-- Follow my woodworking adventures in The Second Wind Workshop,

View ChadR's profile


80 posts in 3537 days

#5 posted 08-21-2011 08:25 AM

I love this game! I made the pieces out of clay and have been thinking about remaking them out of wood, since I have got into woodworking. Great work, and thanks for the inspiration to remake my pieces.

-- Some people have a way with words... some people... not... have way.

View Karson's profile


35271 posts in 5461 days

#6 posted 08-21-2011 04:02 PM

Cool looking game pieces and board. Great design.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View clieb91's profile


4259 posts in 4995 days

#7 posted 08-21-2011 05:55 PM

Thanks for posting love new games. Will be adding this to my list of wanting to build.

Nice use of the brass in place of the blank holes.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4748 days

#8 posted 08-21-2011 05:58 PM

WOW ! “orthogonally” , ay ? .... I just went from merely nervous to down right scared !! LOL

You did a wonderful job on this project and thanks for making me learn a few new things today : )

ps: Love the Poplar storage box…I’ve always appreciated all of the wonderful colors that Poplar exhibits naturally : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4111 days

#9 posted 08-21-2011 06:40 PM

Gene, thank you for the explanation of the game, as I wasn’t familiar with it at all before your post.

Nice job on the playing pieces and the box is a wonderful save and use of that piece of poplar in using the grain and color variation in the manner that you did.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4942 days

#10 posted 08-21-2011 08:24 PM

That looks really neat. New to me.
Now my family wants me to build one.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4748 days

#11 posted 08-21-2011 09:11 PM

I think this explains the game perfectly : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3558 days

#12 posted 08-31-2011 06:25 AM

Thanks for all the kind words and fun.
The poplar box is my favorite of the bunch even though it only shows up at the beginning and end of the game. I used a double rebate to give solid alignment of the lid and a much reduced profile. But I really love the colours.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4744 days

#13 posted 09-22-2011 09:29 AM

that’s one cool game! I am going to spend a lot of time on flights next month – going to make a version for taking on plane. there is an online version for practicing
I managed to beat it once (on level 1!) out of… never mind.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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