Patchwork review

Patchwork

Patchwork was published by Mayfair Games in 2014. It was designed by Uwe Rosenberg who is famous for designing blockbusters like Bohnanza, Agricola, Le Havre, Mama Mia, and Klunker. The illustrations in Patchwork were done by Klemens Franz, Rosenberg’s frequent collaborator.

Due to the crazy demand, Patchwork was reprinted in 2015, but it became hard to get again quite soon.
The illustrations were done by Klemens Franz, Rosenberg’s frequent collaborator. He is known for his paintings is such games as Agricola, Le Havre and Orleans (2014)

Game Components

  • 1 neutral token;
  • 2 quilt boards;
  • 2 time tokens;
  • 33 patches;
  • 1 double-sided central time board;
  • 1 rulebook;
  • 50 button tiles;

Patchwork - Inside the ox

Gameplay

Patchwork is a 2 player game. Your job is to make the best patchwork quilt on your game board with a 9×9 grid.

Patchwork plays fast, the instructions are fairly simple, and the game does not imply lots of strategy and deep thinking. However, doing well in Patchwork is not that easy. Many patches have peculiar shape, which is something you have to take into account while building your quilt. If it is uneven and there are blank spaces, you will lose points.

You have to keep an eye on your opponent because they are more than likely to accidentally grab the patch you desperately need! You cannot have a successful strategy if you think only about your own quilt and ignore your opponent’s actions.

This little game will make you take lots of sometimes not so easy and obvious decisions. Due to its quick gameplay, you will want to start it all over once you are done even if you have lost with a crushing score.

The edgy thing about the game is that to win you have to collect more buttons than your partner. But buttons are also used to buy patches you need to complete your quilt in order not to lose more buttons at the end of the game for empty spaces you have failed to complete. This is something you always have to keep in mind if you want to end up with both a splendid quilt to show and an impressive score.

Patchwork - beginning of the game

Every turn, you choose between three patches. This is a relief because otherwise you would just stare at all the gorgeous fabrics unable to make any kind of a decision. On the other hand, sometimes you find that none of the offered patches fit your quilt. Then you have to pass while the clock is still ticking. And you do not want to run out of time while your masterpiece is not ready!

Patchwork - Gameplay

Rules

In the beginning, all patches are laid out in a circle at random. You place a marker counter-clockwise to the 2-1 patch. Each of you takes five buttons – buttons are the currency of the game.

During your turn, you can either buy one of the three patches clockwise of the marker or pass. To buy a patch, you have got to pay the price in buttons written on your patch, move your time token on the time track forward for a number of spaces indicated on the patch, and move the marker to the place in the circle where the patch is. After that, you add the patch to your quilt.

If your time token is on top of the other’s time token or behind it, you go again. Otherwise, it is your opponent’s turn.

If you do not want to buy a patch, you can pass. Then you move your time token in front of your opponent’s token and a button for each space you have moved.

Each patch has 0-3 buttons. When your time token moves past some buttons on the track, the bank gives you as many buttons as you have passed.

At the beginning of the game, five patches are placed on the time track, and when you pass a patch for the first time, you take it and add to your quilt immediately.

When your time token gets to the central square of the track, you take your final button from the bank. After both players have arrived, you return one button for each blank square on your board. The winner is the player who has more buttons.

You can download the rules in PDF here.

Patchwork - Game over

Similar Games

Patchwork vs Quilt Show

Quilt Show

Quilt Show by Rio Grande Games is another quilt-making game that came out the same year Patchwork did. This tendency has something to say about trends in modern gaming, that’s for sure. (It’s up to you to decide what exactly.)

With Quilt Show, you can have from two to four people. There is a clock ticking, and three times during the game you have got to show your beautiful quilt so far. To win, you have to earn the most prize money.

Patchwork vs Antiquity

Antiquity

Antiquity is a German civilization-building game for two to four people. It is way more complicated than Patchwork but uses similar mechanics. So, if you are looking for a tile placement strategy that is an advanced version of Patchwork, then you might want to give Antiquity a try.

Patchwork vs Carcassonne

Carcassonne

In Carcassonne, you use tiles to build landscapes of Medieval France. The game is full of possibilities, but it plays really quickly due to swift game mechanics.

Patchwork vs Blokus Duo

Blokus Duo

If you enjoy Tetris-like puzzles for two, try Blokus Duo. It is another brilliant example of abstract tile-placement strategy.

FAQ

Q: Is there an app for iPad or an online variant of Patchwork?

A: No, currently there is none.

Q: If at the end of the game both players have so many blank spaces on their boards that they go negative when scoring their points, do you assume they both have zero points or do you calculate the sum exactly?

A: You calculate the negative sum exactly. It is important to find out the difference between the players’ scores, even if they are both negative.

Q: BGG says Patchwork takes only 15 minutes. Does it really?

A: You can have the whole walkthrough in 15 minutes, but you are more likely to take 30, which is 15 minutes per player.

Q: Is it possible to actually complete the game board fully?

A: It is possible, but it does not happen often. So, do not punish yourself too hard if you fail to do that!

Q: How replayable is Patchwork?

A: It depends on whether you enjoy abstract puzzles at all. If you do, you will be happily playing it time after time after time. If you do not, you probably will not get very excited at the idea of playing it again.

YouTube

Conclusion

Patchwork is a strategy with a rather abstract theme – making a quilt of colorful patches. It may not seem very exciting to many gamers who are used to adventures, fantasy, travels in time and space, and fighting monsters. This time, Uwe Rosenberg offers his admirers a peaceful and domestic pastime that you may enjoy while having a cup of tea and sharing gossip about your neighbors.

There is no real catch here: Patchwork is indeed a rather peaceful game for two. But it is quite challenging and exciting, even though what you are dealing with is just patches for a quilt. Actually, those patches deserve attention. They are colorful and just a pleasure to hold in your hands and a pleasure to add to your personal quilt that you may design to look the way you want it to look.

Patchwork - Game Result

Patchwork cleverly uses elements of time management and resource management, you have to watch your opponent’s actions, so, the game might turn out not to be as meek as you thought.

Anyway, if you are looking for a game to brighten an evening you are spending with a friend, Patchwork is there to help you out!

You can buy Patchwork on Amazon.