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Patchwork Review

August 2nd, 2017 by

Patchwork 001Getting my wife into any type of gaming requires somewhat of a minor miracle. If there is anything like aliens or dragons or superheroes it is normally deemed to be far too far-fetched. Video games tend to be frowned upon, most analogue games are too cumbersome, awkward or confusing. Gaming just isn’t in her genetic makeup. There are exceptions to this rule – Crash Bandicoot, Alchemists, Drinking Games (she does nothing for the Celtic stereotype) but in the main the whiny phrase “do we have to?” is often muttered when gaming is suggested.

Then Patchwork arrived.

Patchwork is a fairly light and easy to pick up two player sewing battle. A battle of quilting with oddly shaped pieces of patchwork which are sewn into a growing 9×9 square quilt. Patchwork is quick to learn, feels very much like Tetris for the video game/ table top gaming straddlers, takes around 30 minutes start to finish and, for something so simple, incredibly tactical.

As time progresses within  the game through the playing of patchwork pieces, players earn buttons, which allows them to purchase additional patchwork pieces which then take additional in-game time to sew onto your quilt but with the reward of more buttons.

Buttons are currency and they are needed to purchase your quilt pieces. The larger pieces cost more buttons but are much more desirable then the cheaper options. Buttons are also victory points so we end up with an interesting situation where you need buttons to buy patches and win more buttons but you also need the same buttons to win. This is before we even think about the third factor of Patchwork – Time.

Time, like real life, is limited. Each time a new patch piece is purchased time will progress, never to be reclaimed; if time runs out then the game is over. That means that every time you purchase a new piece of quilt you have to establish how well it will aid you in the pursuit of buttons and if it improves your stash of buttons enough to be worth the time spent on using it.

Patchwork 003

All of the patches are placed in a random circle around the timetrack board , with the neutral token placed within that circle. Players can then either move their time token along the time track board and earn buttons or purchase a quilt piece to be used on their 9×9 quilt board. The main restriction in the latter element is that they can only buy one of the three patch pieces that are next to the neutral token in a clockwise direction. The fact that you randomise the patchwork pieces in a circle for each game means there are thousands of possible combinations to start the game. Plenty of replayability there.

Finally, the order of play is determined by who is last on the time track so it is wholly possible to have two or even three consecutive turns – this is where strategy really plays a part.

Play continues until both players have reached the end of the timetrack and then a winner is determined with 1 point being awarded for each unspent button but losing two points for each uncovered space on their quilt board.

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Patchwork is a little darling for “partner” gaming. It is not really about making a quilt or even the patch pieces but more the managing of your buttons and earning as much as possible in the most time efficient way all whilst your opponent is trying to do exactly the same.

Midlife Gamer Rating: 7.5/10     Year of Release: 2014
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg     Manufacturer: Mayfair Games
RRP:  £25.00

Disclosure: Midlife Gamer reviewed Patchwork over the course of  one week. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.

 

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