Patchwork is a casual, cute and simple boardgame for two players. Each player manages their time and money (buttons) to fill their quilt-board with a colourful patchwork. The gameplay is essentially about balancing resources to be able to fill as much space on the quilt-board as possible. Filling the board happens by “sewing” different shaped patch-pieces on a “quilt”. The more space is covered on a quilt-board after end of the game, the more points player gains.
Players start with 5 buttons, and an empty quilt-board each. Players then place their player-token on the time-board, that is used to record the amount of the time left in the game. The time-board has two features which take place once a player-token passes a special square. The first player passing a special patch square, receives a free 1×1 size square, that they can freely place on their own quilt-board. When a player passes a button income square on the board, the player then receives the number of buttons displayed on the patches on their own quilt-board.
On their turn player can buy patches to advance their patchwork, or to move their player-token on the time-board to earn more buttons for future purchases. After purchasing a patch, the player places it on their quilt-board, and moves their player token forward on the time-board as many spaces as indicated on the purchased patch. This symbols the time that it takes to “sew” the patchwork onto the quilt-board. Once both players reach the end of the time-board, the game ends, and the player with most points wins. Each empty square, that was not filled with patchwork, is worth negative 2 points and each button token the player has is worth 1 point. The player who first fills 7×7 square of spaces on their quilt-board receives a special tile, which is worth 7 points.
Patchwork is easy to learn, fun, quick and a casual boardgame. The rules of the game are explained under 5 minutes and jumping into the game as a new player feels effortless. The game is small and compact, it takes around 15 minutes to play, 2 minutes to set up and a minute to pack up again. The game art with all its buttons and colourful patches gives a cute and comfortable feel to the game. The game is fast-paced, and there is not really any downtime between turns. Fitting the patch-pieces together on your quilt-board challenges the players to use their geometrical problem–solving skills. It can be surprisingly hard to figure out how the pieces could best fit together on your own board. Planning and placing of the patches feel similar to fitting the blocks together in Tetris. While playing Patchwork, I am personally not too worried about scoring points, but fitting those pieces together and seeing my patchwork grow brings me a sense of contentment. Finding a perfect fit for a piece on your board feels really satisfying!
Patchwork is a game suitable for most people, it is quick and easy to learn and to play. However, Patchwork might not fit those players who are hungry for complex strategic games but it is an excellent choice for people who enjoy casual and quick boardgames.
P.S The game can also be found as a digital version on Steam.
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games
Release date: 2014
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 – 20 minutes
Banner picture: Promo picture from the game
Gameplay pictures: Taken by the author