Recommended Game – Qvadriga

by A.J. Coltrane

Qvadriga:  It’s turn-based chariot racing for your android phone!

Do you like old-school strategy games? Like, really old school?

Back in the dark ages of board games there existed Circus Maximus.

circus maximus

Published by Avalon Hill in 1979(!), Circus Maximus was cool because you could select and train your horses and riders, bribe the officials, and run your buddies off of the track, all for fame, glory, and riches in ancient Rome.

It’s been out of print forever, but it still has a passionate fan base. These guys are taking it waaay more seriously than I ever did:

circus maximus2

So I was really exited to see a sort-of-port for the phone – Qvadriga:


In Qvadriga you maintain a stable of four chariot teams. Your drivers can gain experience and become more skillful, assuming they survive. The game forces you to balance aggressiveness against keeping your drivers alive — go too fast around a tight corner and the chariot might break apart, leaving your driver dragging behind his horses. At that point you have to hope that he can get to safety before he gets run over. If the driver dies it takes a new hire a while to get competent… Plus you have to buy a new chariot to replace the one you broke, and the good ones aren’t cheap.

Anything goes, you can direct your driver to whip the other drivers, the other horses, or use his chariot to ram into anyone nearby. The game rewards weaving to cut off faster opponents.

There are two campaign modes, one of which allows you to resurrect a driver if he’s killed. The “Epic” mode doesn’t allow for resurrections. Ultimately the object is to become famous enough to be allowed admittance to the Circus Maximus, and then to have the driver with the most career wins of any driver still alive.

It’s $10 on the android store. I went ahead and forked out the $10 because I knew I’d get at least that much fun out of it.

Highly recommended.

3 thoughts on “Recommended Game – Qvadriga

  1. Is it worth it…

    It’s fairly polished. The AI is challenging.

    It’s turn-based: You make a decision (whip/ accelerate/ brake/ move in one lane/ ram to the left/, etc), and the game advances about 8-10 seconds. Every decision by every driver plays out between moves. The game *will* punish shoddy decision making.

    I’ve already spent probably… too many hours on the campaign mode. You start out with crummy drivers, chariots, and horses, and gradually upgrade them as your winnings allow. I’ve finally gotten to the Circus Maximus, but my top driver only has 11 wins, and the top computer driver has 26. The means I need to keep racing and winning — and ideally kill off that other driver.

    Here’s a short gameplay trailer. Note how it shows the options available turn by turn:

    I’ve gotten $10 out of it. I’ll show it to you here sometime soon and you can see what you think.


  2. Ok, watching that all the way through — that guy sucks. He should have moved in a lane or two much sooner than he did and not beaten the snot out of his horses so much. There were a number of tactical mistakes, and the game doesn’t usually evolve into “whip, whip, whip, whip”.

    Still, it’s a good representation of the gameplay.


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