...or a board game consisting of 16 pieces and a 4x4 playing field.

Each figure has 4 (important) characteristics (get why it's called "Quarto"?):
* height : tall/short
* color : light/dark
* shape : square/round
* solidity : filled in/with a whole

The first player starts off by giving one of the figures to the other player. The first places the piece and then gives a new piece to the second. (Symmetry, explains how the rest goes.)

The point is to be the first person to get 4 figures with one characteristic (all tall, all short, etc.) in a row. (If play has moved on and you find a row during your turn, it still counts.)

The game is something of a mix between Tic-Tac-Toe and chess. It sounds simple, but there is quite a good thinking required, including the chance to (try to) think many moves in advance. Super fast to learn; "a lifetime to master" (or something like that.)

An advance stage of play allows for more than just rows. In addition, any square of four -- meaning each piece is next to two others of the four to make a square, see example) with one common characteristic also wins. (Extremely tough)

Ex. s=short, x=other (all win)

ssss | sxxx | sxxx | ssxx 
xxxx | xsxx | sxxx | ssxx 
xxxx | xxsx | sxxx | xxxx 
xxxx | xxxs | sxxx | xxxx (advanced only)

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