Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games
Players: 2 players
Recommended Age: 8+
Time to Play: 15 – 20 minutes
BGG Ranking: 7.7
My Ranking: 6/10
Game Level: Beginner
My quick review: Patchwork, a quilt-building game, is easy to learn, quick, and light. Similar to Tetris, there’s not much complexity and the strategy is relatively simple. If you’re looking for a fun, straightforward board game to add to your collection or if you’re a new board gamer, this is a good choice.
In Patchwork, you and your opponent are competing to build the best patchwork quilt on your personal player boards. On each turn, you have the option of purchasing an available patch for your quilt or moving your token forward on the shared game board to collect coins. The primary objectives are to get as many coins as you can and fill up as many places on your board as possible.
Patchwork is a lighter board game with little complexity but it is still clever. The main strategies are simple… do not neglect larger patches and select patches with buttons on them earlier in the game so you can collect more button coins as you play. Button patches will help you in two ways… some patches are more expensive than others so more coins allow you the flexibility to buy what you want and at the end of the game, your total coins aid your final score. Filling your board is equally important because the more empty spots on your board at the end of the game, the more points you lose. Because of that, there can be some competition for a filler piece or one last patch before the end of the game.
For me, Patchwork has its pros and cons. The game can feel solitary because it does not require much player interaction. The focus is primarily on filling your board to complete your quilt as best as possible. The lack of player interaction is not ideal but the game structure often has you paying more attention to what you’re building rather than on blocking your opponent which allows for friendly competition. There’s also quite a bit of luck in the game because at any point, only three patches are available to purchase and you may or may not want them at that particular moment in the game. With that in mind, the opportunity to impact your opponent varies each time you play. Your quilt building method and patch selection will be different than your opponent’s method and selection based on what patches are available. Lastly, the game moves very quickly to the point where I wish it lasted a bit longer.
Overall, Patchwork is quick, easy to learn and reminds me of Tetris. If you’re looking for a simple board game that doesn’t have a serious time commitment and has some light competition, Patchwork is a good choice. Also, if you are new to gaming or trying to introduce a friend to the lovely world of board games, pick up a copy of Patchwork.