A downloadable Qua® Game
Qua is a three-dimensional (3D) abstract strategy game for three players. It is an extension of the two-dimensional, two player game called Gale, marketed as Bridg-It. Qua is played on a 3D game board grid composed of NxNxN cells in the shape of a cube, where N is equal to the number of cells along each edge of the game board.
The objective of Qua is to be the first player to complete a connected path of cells containing their game play pieces between their two opposite faces of the game board cube.
The 3D game board does not start out empty. Some of the cells in the game board are permanently filled-in with game play pieces, called qua. The three qua game play pieces--one for each player--are distinguished from each other by shape and color. This makes it possible for blind people to play the physical versions of Qua games.
- Players choose their qua at the beginning of the game and decide who will go first, second and third in sequential turn order.
- Each turn, players place one of their qua in an empty cell in the game board cube. Players may only place qua in an empty cell if it is adjacent to two cells that already contain their qua, or one such cell and one of their two game board cube faces.
- If a player cannot make a move, they skip their turn.
- The game ends when the first player connects their two faces of the game board cube.
Qua Kingmaker game play rule:
If the current player is in an Kingmaker situation where either one of the other players will win on their next turn, then the current player blocks the next player's immediate win first. However, if no one identifies the Kingmaker situation, and the current player makes a different move, then that move is valid.
The 3x3x3 Qua game frequently ends in a Kingmaker scenario. Interestingly, the 2nd player tends to win the most games.
The 4x4x4 Qua game has multiple empty cells adjacent to each other, which requires strategic thinking to use effectively. Players need to look several moves ahead to stop another player from making unbeatable moves that occupy empty cells that no other player can occupy.
In playtesting, 5x5x5 Qua games are considered the most fun. Players frequently overlook threats that cross multiple levels. Games rarely last more than 10 minutes. Dice Qua, as a 2-player variant, works well with the 5x5x5 Qua game board.
The 5x5x5 version was highlighted in the 19th issue of the online New Abstract Games magazine: https://www.abstractgames.org/qua.html.
A Qua game can be played cooperatively, where the game objective is for all three players to complete their connections and become winners.
Qua has a two-player variant that allows each player to optionally play (or not) one of the third player's qua before playing their own each turn. To avoid a draw if the third player's qua blocks both players from winning, a tie-breaker rule is used: If the game otherwise would have ended in a draw, the first player that completed a connected chain between the unselected third player's two cube faces loses.
I want to thank the Jefferson County Public Library in Washington for helping me prototype the physical 3D versions of Qua game boards and game play pieces using their free public 3D printer.
If you download copies of the Qua Game Playsheets, please make a $1 donation. Thanks!
–Woody (AKA Sherwood Pidcock), Qua Games Developer, Copyright (c) 2020
Click download now to get access to the following files:
- Qua Math Paper published in Issue 19 of Abstract GamesMay 20, 2020
- Qua is a USPTO Registered TrademarkApr 03, 2020
- Playtesting resultsOct 22, 2019
- 3D Game Play Instuctions AddedAug 02, 2019