Patchwork Game Overview
“This is my current favorite 2-player game.” That’s what I was told when I asked my friend Doug about a game he was playing at our local game store. Patchwork didn’t seem to be the normal theme he would enjoy, but there he was, turning patches of “cloth” trying to construct the perfect quilt – or at least one better than his opponent (his wife).
When we picked up a copy at Gen Con this Summer, I knew it was going to be a good one. I respect Doug’s opinions on games because he has rarely been wrong. He has a keen eye for titles that not only he’ll like, but ones that he knows his friends will also enjoy. He’s also a walking encyclopedia about game designers and publishers, and the fact that Patchwork was created by one of his favorites (Uwe Rosenberg) didn’t hurt either. You probably know Mayfair Games from their hugely-popular Settlers of Catan series, but they also have 100’s of other titles in their line. This past January we showed you the very cute Hot Tin Roof and even brought you an interview with Alex Yaeger from the 2013 Chicago Toy & Game Fair.
By now you’re asking, “What does quilt-making have to do with games?” That’s the premise of Patchwork – you’re methodically creating your own quilt using scraps of material, trying to efficiently position them while still earning enough revenue (in the form of buttons) to purchase more pieces.
The game includes 33 patches of material (Tetris-style) that are laid out in a circle around the playing board. This ring is your store from where you will eventually purchase all of that parts you need for your quilt.
There is a neutral token or pawn that moves around the circle, making only the next three pieces (clockwise) available for purchase. On your turn you may purchase one of those three and move the pawn into the resulting open space. The next three pieces will then be available to your opponent. It moves around the circle for the entire game, so a passed piece isn’t lost, just delayed.
Each piece has an associated cost in both buttons (the game’s currency) and in time. Pay buttons from your reserve and move your pawn the corresponding number of spaces (time) around the board.
Then place your newly-received piece on your personal quilt board. You have to plan ahead because once in position, you cannot move the piece to another spot.
Inevitably you will end up with unfilled spots in your quilt that need to be patched. Being the first to cross the special “Leather Patch” spots on the board earns you coveted single-square pieces used for filling in holes in your quilt.
Crossing a button on the board gives you a payout – one button for every button in your current quilt. As the game progresses you will earn more and more each payout, allowing you to purchase more expensive pieces.
There is also a bonus for the first player to complete a 7 x 7 quilt which awards them 7 additional points at game’s end. This might be just enough to swing the game to your side, so paying attention to how you lay your tiles is paramount if you want to earn this bonus.
But I think my favorite mechanic of the game is how turns are taken. It is not simply a back-and-forth process, but one that is decided by who is farthest behind on the track. When you’re behind you have a choice – purchase a tile (as highlighted above) or catch up to the other player and receive an equal number of buttons for however many spaces they are ahead. If you decide to purchase, but are still behind after paying the time fee on the tile, you get to go again! Planning ahead and purchasing smaller pieces will allow you to have multiple turns in a row, potentially making the pawn bypass a key piece the other person needs for their quilt!
Once everyone has reached the end, one final button payout is given and victory is determined by the player with the most buttons. Don’t forget to subtract points for unfilled spots in your quilt (trust me, there will be some)!
I never thought I’d find myself gushing over a game that is based upon an “old-person hobby”, but here I am. The quilting theme is perfectly integrated with the mechanics and the inclusion of odd-shaped patches of material adds a puzzle-like aspect to an otherwise straightforward game.
Rated for ages 8+, Patchwork can easily be taught to kids as young as 5 or 6. Expect each game to last about 30 minutes – perfect for those with shorter attention spans, but long enough that you’ll need to have a strategy in place each turn. If you have a friend or family member that is into textile arts, this would be an amazing gift to get them into the world of hobby games!
Find your copy on Amazon or request a copy from your local game store. MSRP is $25, a perfect Christmas gift price point! And I I alluded to above, Mayfair Games has 100’s of other titles in their library. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to see what they’re working on next. And if you’re a Star Trek fan, wait until you see what they’ve just released! We hope to be able to tell you about it soon!
25 thoughts on “Patchwork Game Overview”
This does sound like an interesting game that would really take a lot of thought before you make your moves!
I think my family might really enjoy this game!
Almost passed this by, as quilting is not my thing – but then realised it was about a game! Our family is mad about table top games and we’ve never tried this one. So thank you, this looks like a great discovery 🙂
What a great idea :O 😀
I am a bit of a game junkie. I’ve NEVER seen this one, how cool!
This looks amazing! I want to try this so bad now! You have just opened my mind to so many ideas! Thank you for that!
Wow I’ve never heard of this game! My aunt is obsessed with quilts, so this is for sure one of her holiday gifts this year!
This is so different, something that is a break from the norm. I am sure I would love to try this with my daughter, seems like fun.
You have such a knack for finding unique games. This looks like a winner to me.
i can see how this game would also encourage spacial recognition in kids. Since they have to pick out pieces that would fit perfectly to create the patchwork quilt based on what they have available. What a great concept!
This is actually a game I could get into! I love how the turn taking method is not traditional-it gives my younger kids a chance. Its also probably the closest I’d get to building a quilt lol!
This sounds like an awesome one for family game nights. I love games where you can use some strategy but the kids can still join in on the fun.
Lol, the title of the post deceived me and I thought it was about actual patchwork quilting. I like the creativity behind this game.
That is the most unique concept for a board game that I have ever seen.
This looks like such a fun family game – great at Christmas I bet!
I haven’t heard of this before. I like that it’s a thinking game like Tetris, I might like it.
Looks like such a fun family friendly game. I’m sure it would be perfect for Family Game Night!
Looks like such a great family friendly game. Perfect for Family Game Night!
This looks like a cute game. I have several aunts who are REALLY into quilting and I bet they would love to have a game based on it.
This game looks so fun! My daughter would love to play it with me. Such a creative game idea. Thank you for sharing!
My mom would actually enjoy that game…she is obsessed with everything have to do with quilting. Bet she would have fun playing it with the grand kids!
This game definitely reminds me of Tetris, which is an awesome comparison in my world. Looks like a unique concept with a lot of fun.