Get on Board:

Two's perfect for this absorbing gem of a game

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Some games, although perfectly playable with just two players, just don’t have the same impact as when played in a group. Patchwork, by Lookout Games, is a simple but inventive use of card and truly designed for two.

The objective of the game is to fill a personal 9×9 square grid with pieces of card
“fabric” to complete a patchwork blanket of your dreams. There are 33 Tetris-like pieces that come in various shapes and sizes that are spread in a circle around the main playing board. Be wary – you may need all the space on your table. As the game progresses each player will purchase pieces (with buttons as currency) to slot into their grid, leaving a minimal number of blank spaces. The player with the least blank squares and most buttons will win the game.

With all the pieces arranged randomly in circle, a token is placed in between two pieces and indicates that on a player’s go, he/she has the choice to buy any of the three pieces succeeding it. If a player decides to purchase one, the piece is taken away and the token moved to the now empty space, creating a new selection to pick from. Each patch is a different size, costs a different amount, has a different time value, and may or may not contain a button. The newly acquired piece is placed on the player’s individual grid.

On the main board, a player moves their counter to the amount indicated on the patch they have just bought. The twist of the game? Whichever player is behind on the main board keeps playing until they surpass the other player’s counter. If a player cannot purchase a patch, they may pass, move their token on the main board to go one space ahead of the other player and collect a button for every space moved. The game is over when both players reach the end of the main board and everything is counted up.

There are so many ways to play this game. Do you buy the biggest possible patch? Do you buy the patch that contains more buttons? Do you pass your play to collect buttons? Where should you even place your patch? Having just two players allows you to formulate a solid game plan, with nothing left to chance, as each player’s move directly affects the outcome of the game.

Patchwork is an absolute gem of a game, and a must for your board games collection. Once the gameplay has been learnt, you’ll never have to refer back to the instructions – it’s memorable but not monotonous. Not only is it a multifaceted game, but also there is nothing like it on the market. Who knew sewing a quilt could be so much fun?

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