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Subject: Patchwork (or Quilty Tetris) rss

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J Davis
United States
Alabaster
Alabama
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This is a game about Quilting.



I know what you’re thinking: “Next!” Right, me too. But I had seen so many people talking about it that I had to try it, right? I mean, it’s Tetris, but with quilt patches…so yeah…right.



Here goes:

When I opened the box, I immediately noticed the extremely cool components and was instantly drawn to the Tetris-y (new word) aspect of the game. The rules were really easy to understand so I sat down for a solo run before I launched into a game with my wife.

Basically the game really is a lot like Tetris except you have to buy the quilt pieces that you want to add to your board next. On your turn you can add any one of the next three patch tiles to your quilt board by paying the number of buttons shown on the patch. Once you place the patch tile on your board, you then advance your player token on the game track the number of spaces shown next to the hourglass on the patch tile. This represents the time it takes to work the patch into your quilt. If there is not a patch that you want to add (or you can’t afford any of the three) then you can simply advance your token to the space immediately in front of your opponent, gaining that many buttons to buy new tiles later. You also gain buttons by working tiles into your quilt pattern which pay out each time you pass the button symbol on the game track.

It’s all very easy once you start playing.

Anyway…you buy tiles, place them on your board, get more buttons, buy more tiles – all the while trying to leave as little empty space on your quilt board as possible. All very Tetris-y.

At the end of the game, you total up your buttons minus empty spaces and whoever has the most points wins.

All very straightforward.

So why don’t I love it? It seems like something I would like. I adore 2-player games even though I don’t get to play them as often as I would like. (If my wife doesn’t love it – she won’t play it).

I like light strategy games. This has that for days. I would put it on the same level as Lanterns, maybe a tad more strategy because you can actually see several moves ahead with this one, and there is less time between turns (especially with 4-player Lanterns).

I love the components. The tiles are just right. The player boards are big enough. I like the game track.

So why am I not gushing over this game?

Here’s the thing: I don’t like the ending.

In the game if you can’t afford a new tile or can’t use one of the tiles that are available for your quilt, you can choose to move your token along the game track to the space right in front of the other player and get buttons for every space you moved. It’s a kind of evening-out mechanic that works really well throughout the course of the game.

“Oh…you don’t have enough buttons? Well here, take some, but it’s going to cost you some time.”

At the end of the game, however, it becomes a bit of a problem for me. If you can no longer take any of the tiles because they just won’t fit on your board, you basically spend the rest of the game moving your token and getting buttons.

The first game I played with my wife, we both ran out of space for new tiles with about 17 spaces left. We both just kind of looked at each other and said, “What do we do now?” ( I had to search online to find out). Basically you just keep leapfrogging each other to the end of the game track, collecting buttons along the way.

To me, it would’ve been just as good to say that if you get to a point where there are no more moves to make, the game immediately ends. But that would’ve felt wrong too. The leapfrogging method certainly did.

If we end up playing this one again we will institute this as a house rule, but honestly it left a bad taste in our mouths and probably won’t be joining our game library (unless it’s really cheap). Which is really a shame.

I really like the gameplay, I just didn’t like the ending.
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Martin G
United Kingdom
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You could just get better at playing the game, in which case that won't happen any more
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Steve R
United States
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Wow, you ran out of legal tile placements with 17 spaces to go? I don't think I have ever been completely skunked like that. Maybe close to the end of the game, I may get skunked for one turn because the three available tiles don't fit. But 17 spaces on the time track with continued leaping and no legal tile placements for either player seems odd.

Do you feel like you and your opponent had efficient quilts? i.e. not a lot of empty spaces (-2 points each)? Or could you have made better placements earlier in the game to better fit the odd/large shaped tiles?

Maybe you had a really bad random layout of tiles with three in a row that are large/odd shaped and difficult to fit late game? I've never seen that happen 17 spaces out, I wouldn't consider that late game yet. How many games did this happen? Maybe give it another shot because you got stuck in a rare situation?

My only concern with the game so far is that the 7x7 scoring may seem a bit over powered. The player who gets that bonus usually wins during the games I have played. But I have never experienced the problem you describe.
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Jeff Binning
United States
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My wife enjoyed this from our first play. I hated it, but didn't say anything, as she was enjoying herself. Over a few days we played again, my wife getting consistently better, me just trying to get a positive score.

I think it was about game 6 when things finally "clicked" for me. Now it's become a favorite of mine as well. We still have negative scores once in awhile, but we're also scoring in the +20 range much of the time. It's a great little game, but it may require a bit of patience to get it right.
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Jeff Binning
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riverc0il wrote:
My only concern with the game so far is that the 7x7 scoring may seem a bit over powered. The player who gets that bonus usually wins during the games I have played. But I have never experienced the problem you describe.


We've been keeping track of who wins the most patches, who has the most "bobs" (buttons on board), and who gets the 7X7 bonus. There isn't any clear winning advantage for any of these 3 factors, in the 30 or so games we've played so far.
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Mathue Faulk
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Did you only play once? I've never seen an ending like that occur, and it won't occur with good play. I don't think your comments on the end game really represent the game play.
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Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
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GameGeekNinja wrote:
Here’s the thing: I don’t like the ending.


OK.

GameGeekNinja wrote:
In the game if you can’t afford a new tile or can’t use one of the tiles that are available for your quilt, you can choose to move your token along the game track to the space right in front of the other player and get buttons for every space you moved. It’s a kind of evening-out mechanic that works really well throughout the course of the game.

"Oh…you don’t have enough buttons? Well here, take some, but it’s going to cost you some time.”


Yes.

GameGeekNinja wrote:
At the end of the game, however, it becomes a bit of a problem for me. If you can no longer take any of the tiles because they just won’t fit on your board, you basically spend the rest of the game moving your token and getting buttons.

The first game I played with my wife, we both ran out of space for new tiles with about 17 spaces left. We both just kind of looked at each other and said, “What do we do now?” ( I had to search online to find out). Basically you just keep leapfrogging each other to the end of the game track, collecting buttons along the way.


I agree with Steve R.

We've never encountered that situation, but I guess you can chalk it up to inexperience.

GameGeekNinja wrote:
To me, it would’ve been just as good to say that if you get to a point where there are no more moves to make, the game immediately ends. But that would’ve felt wrong too. The leapfrogging method certainly did.


Lesson learned. Space management is key to the game. It may be that you were both buying tiles that were not good fits for your quilts. Knowing when to buy and when not improves with experience. I believe I had a negative score in my first game, but by my third game, I got it up over 20.

GameGeekNinja wrote:
If we end up playing this one again we will institute this as a house rule, but honestly it left a bad taste in our mouths and probably won’t be joining our game library (unless it’s really cheap). Which is really a shame.

I really like the gameplay, I just didn’t like the ending.


You can play the game with any house rules you want, but the game actually plays very well with the original rules.
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Quinn Swanger
United States
Holly Springs
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qwertymartin wrote:
You could just get better at playing the game, in which case that won't happen any more


Oh, snap!
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Dan Mansfield
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Methinks one should play a game like Patchwork at least a dozen times before posting a review. Get better in terms of strategy and fitting your patches together, then revisit this review if you change your mind.
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Derek H
South Africa
Pretoria
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Sredni Vashtar wrote:
Methinks one should play a game like Patchwork at least a dozen times before posting a review. Get better in terms of strategy and fitting your patches together, then revisit this review if you change your mind.

I think you can post after playing 3 or so games; but at that point its more about "initial impressions". Inferring that there is something wrong with the game because of poor play is probably not warranted.

Out of interest; how many blank spaces do people usually end up with - for us it tends to be about 7 to 9 (per player)?
 
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