Greetings all you fine friends! Welcome back to the website! Hope you have been having a great week or two and been playing a ton of games! Let’s jump in to this weeks review, Patchwork designed by Uwe Rosenberg from Mayfair games.
If You Love
- Tile Laying Games
- “Catch-Up” Player Turn Mechanic
- Income Building
- Puzzling Pieces Together
- Quilting Themed Games
- Abstract Game Play
How It’s Played
Patchwork is a fairly simple game in which you are trying to make the best quilt. To know if you have the best quilt at the end of the game, you will have the most money left after paying for all the gaps in your quilt. You have pieces organized around the tracker board with a marker which indicates which pieces you can buy. You work your way clockwise around the tracker board buying pieces to add into your quilt. You pay for the piece, move the marker to where that piece was, place the piece on your player board, and then move your player token as needed on the tracker board. As you progress, you will buy pieces with buttons on them, and your player token will pass buttons on the tracker board through the game. When you pass over the buttons on the tracker, you will get paid the amount of buttons which are on your player board, giving you more money to spend on other pieces to fill your board. There are also single square pieces you will pass that will let you fill in tiny gaps that you may end up with due to the shape of pieces you buy. While figuring out which players turn it is, you will need to remember that it is not each player taking turns, but rather whoever is the furthest back plays their turn. This can lead to many turns by one player in a row. Play continues until both players hit the end of the tracker board, at which point they pay 2 buttons for each empty spot on their quilt. Whoever has the most buttons left at the end of the game is the winner.
The Pretty Little Bow
I found patchwork to be very middle of the road in regards to the quality of the pieces. They seem okay but after ten to twelve plays, I noticed a lot of the buttons were suffering from wear and tear. Personally I feel like this is because they are so small, they just suffer from being picked up a little more. This brings me to the art of the game. I enjoy the art well enough, though find the colour scheme to be slightly bland. I enjoy a game which the art pops a little bit more. The patterns on all the pieces really suit the feel of putting together a quilt which is great for the theme of the game though. The theme of the game however is a little questionable to me. Why a quilting game? It seems like one of the least interesting themes you could put on a board game. And Farming Games exist.
What’d You Love?
Patchwork, despite the theme of putting together a quilt has a game play that pulls you back in for more. The puzzle that is fitting all the unique pieces together really tests your brain on its own. Add in trying to strategically set yourself up to possibly grab a couple tiles in succession, or foreshadowing what your opponent may purchase, and you have a game that keeps your brain firing on all cylinders from start to finish. In addition to the depth thought you have from start to finish, there is an added bonus to this being a very nicely sized game. It fits into a small box, and yet plays with a big box depth. Finally, one of the biggest things to me, is how re playable the game is. The random tile set up from game to game makes for a unique “game plan” each time you play.
What’s Not to Love?
For patchwork, my least favourite thing about the game is the theme. It is such an obscure thing, that for me does not any appeal at all. To spend time making a quilt seemed like such a silly thing to me. How could this possibly be fun? Luckily, you can overlook the theme of the game and it still plays wonderfully as an abstract style of game. The other thing that wasn’t overly thrilling for me, was how much table space is needed to play comfortably. It is really nice that it all fits well into the smaller sized box, but once everything is set up, it can really be a table hog. I personally don’t have much issue with it, but as a small box game, it limits the ability to make it an on the go game.
What’d You Think?
Thematically, this game has no reason to be worth playing at all in my opinion. I mean, how could a game about making a quilt be of any interest to anyone, other than folks who enjoy quilting? For some reason however, this game is one of the more addicting games I have played. You are working out a puzzle with pieces you aren’t sure are going to be available to you on your turn. This makes for a more difficult puzzle to complete, but if you happen to get the pieces you are looking to get, it makes it such a satisfying game. The best part about it though, is if your puzzle doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you immediately want to try again and get a better board built. Having said this, it is safe to say that this game is a definite keeper for my collection. I will play this as an entry point whenever I have a non gaming guest over and there is opportunity to play a two player game. As well, it has enough depth to play while waiting 20-30 minutes for dinner to cook and have some down time, and satisfy that big thinker style game we would really like to play (and probably will after dinner!).
I hope you have enjoyed my look at Patchwork, I will talk to you next time, and don’t forget that I love you all!