One of the hobbies I’ve gotten into recently has been board games. It’s a great alternative to screen time and is a fantastic way to spend time with others. However it’s hard to know which games are worth the money. I’ve bought a few board games over the years and plan to review each one. You can view the full list of games I own here with links to each review.
Patchwork is one of my most recent purchases. It was an impulse buy when Amazon had a sale on other board games and I was looking to meet the $49 free shipping requirement. One of the reasons I chose this game is because we didn’t have any newer games that were created for just two players. Generally I find that many of the more complex games are simply not as enjoyable with two players. Given that most of the time it is just the two of us we decided to prioritize buying some games made specifically for two players.
My girlfriend is a knitter so the Patchwork box art stuck out at me as I was searching for games to buy. The premise seemed simple and it looked like a unique game so we decided to give it a shot. At the time we paid $21 for it from Amazon.
The game is relatively straight-forward. You each get your own quilt to build on (first picture below) and there is a board that you move around (second picture) until you reach the end of the game. Various different sized pieces of patchwork are placed around the game board.
Buttons are used as the currency as well as a way to tally score at the end of the game. Each turn you can either purchase a piece or skip ahead of your opponent and collect a button for each space you move. You can only purchase a patch that is three ahead of where the person-like figure is (top left in the second picture). The patches or pieces each have a cost in buttons and an hourglass which signifies how many spaces you move when you purchase that piece. For instance, some pieces cost more buttons, and you move less spaces. Some are less expensive but require you to move many more spaces. The shapes also play a role in the cost as some take up more spaces but are more difficult to fit into your board and others are easier (like a straight line) but cost more.
As you move around the board and pass the buttons on the game board (not your quilt) you collect the number of buttons that are on the shapes currently on your quilt. In the first picture to the left I’d collect 8 buttons. Passing a button on the board is similar to passing “GO” in Monopoly or a payday. There are also single patches which you can collect if you’re the first person to pass them on the board. This helps you fill any blank spaces where other patches may not fit. The strategy revolves around having a balance between buying pieces with buttons on them (to collect more money), what patches you decide to purchase and when you purchase them during the game. If you are the first player to fully fill a 7×7 area on your quilt you also get bonus buttons at the end of the game.
Once you reach the end of the game board, the game is over and the opponents add up their buttons and subtract 2 points for every open square on their quilt. Although it may seem daunting at first, it is fairly easy to fill most of the board up.
Patchwork is quick to learn, but there is an opportunity to have a strategy which is why we like it. We have already played this game dozens of times and still enjoy it quite a bit. Since you’re always building a unique quilt (and placement of the patches is random every game around the board) there is a lot of replay value. This is not a time intensive game and takes approximately 25 minutes from start to finish. If you’re looking for a 2 player game I definitely recommend Patchwork. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
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