Game Buzz: Calico

Games about hobbies other than gaming seem to be in lately, as we can see when we look at

image by BGG user stankewich

Calico is a tile laying game designed by Kevin Russ, and published by AEG and Flatout Games. It was successfully Kickstarted last year, and is now getting a wider release. It’s a quilting themed game where you’re picking up pieces to match patterns and try to attract cats to come snuggle on your creation.

Each player gets their own quilt board, as well as their own set of 6 design goal tiles. From the design goals, you will get three to place on the board. These are set in the beginner game, and random in the standard game. You’ll be able to draw two tiles to your hand, and also reveal three tiles to start the market.

image by BGG user sjonnie

On your turn, you’ll perform two steps. First, you will choose one of the patches in your hand and place it into any open space on your Quilt Board. Then you’ll check to see if you scored a cat. This is accomplished by looking at the cats to see if you have created the correct shape with one of the correct patterns. If so, you take the corresponding cat token and place it on one of the tiles in the pattern you created. There are ten different cats in the box, and you’ll only use three of them each game. Each cat has different point values.

You should also check to see if you’ve earned a button. Buttons are earned by creating a group of three tiles that are the same color. Once you’ve done this, take a button of that color and place it on a patch in that grouping. If you have one button for each color in the game, you get a bonus rainbow button. All buttons are worth three points.

Once your patch is placed, take one tile from the market and add it to your hand. You can’t draw from the face down patches. Refill the market once done.

The game ends once everyone has filled their quilt boards. You’ll check to see if you’ve fulfilled your goal tokens, and add those scores to cats and buttons you have earned. The player with the high score wins.

image by BGG user sjonnie

I think we can trace this trend in game themes back to Uwe Rosenberg’s Patchwork. That was another game about quilting, and it seems to have fired some people’s imaginations in making games about different hobbies that weren’t gaming. People do have other interests, and it’s nice to explore some of those. As for the game itself, it seems like a pretty nice lightweight puzzle type game. It doesn’t have a whole lot of interaction, other than drafting from the same pool of patches. But there’s some thought that goes into where you want your pieces. So I think this is a game to check out, especially if you like more casual games now and then.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!

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