Game overview

Kevin Russ

Beth Sobel

Flatout Games

≃ $ 31 ​

30 - 45 min

1 - 4 players - 10+

Calico is a competitive tile placement game. Equipped with your pieces of fabric and your needle, you will sew a quilt with different patterns and colors in order to attract adorable little cats, and at the same time brighten up the whole thing with a few pretty little buttons.

What's in the box?

Dual-layer quilt boards that will allow us to compose our quilt
Patch tiles of 6 different colors and patterns
Design goal tiles (4 sets of 6) that will give you objectives to achieve
Black and white Patch tiles, these are only for the cats!
Double-sided cat scoring tiles which means 10 different combinations are possible.
Cat tokens
Beautiful bag to store all your tiles and prevent your table from looking like a battlefield.
Score pad (always handy to check if you've worked well or not! )
Button tokens of 8 different color to sew on your beautiful quilt as well as 4 rainbow buttons.
Score tile that will not only remind you that each button is worth 3 points, but will also show you the different buttons available in the game.
Master Quilter Tile to be given to the winner and which will allow you to taunt your opponents.

And what about the rules?

Composed of 15 pages full of examples and images, the game requires no more and no less than 2 small pages of rules to be able to start sewing. 

The game has 2 small variations :

 the first one simplifies the game by removing the 3 Objective tiles on your board. Your attention will now be focused only on the cats and buttons.

the second reduces the randomness of the tile draws (only for two-player and solo games).

There is also 2 pages of accomplishments that will allow you to track your progress towards becoming a Calico quilt Master.

But also 2 pages of scenarios of increasing difficulty to play solo or with other players.

Last but not least, 2 pages to introduce us to the beautiful little cats that served as models for the game.

All right, and how does it play?

The game will last 22 rounds. That’s the time it takes to fill the entire board before the final score is counted.

Select 3 Cat scoring tiles of different difficulty (represented by small dots at the bottom right of the tile). Assign randomly 2 black and white fabric tiles to each Cat scoring tile.

Each player is given a board with 6 hidden Design goal tiles, 4 of them are randomly revealed, from which you keep 3 of them.

Draw 2 Patch tiles from the bag to make up your starting hand. Then put 3 tiles in the center of the table that will form the market.

Finish the set up by forming the reserve with the button and cat tokens.

You are now ready to play!

What about the game's mechanics ?

The mechanics of the game are very straightforward, and can be summarized in as little as 3 sentences.

On your turn, place a tile from your hand anywhere on the board. Complete your hand by choosing a tile from those available on the market – market that will be immediately resupplied so that it always contains 3 tiles.

That’s it, you know more than 70% of the game!

The cats will be attracted by particular patterns: if you succeed in fulfilling the condition that is shown on each Cat scoring tile you can take the corresponding cat token and place it on your tiles.

As soon as you have 3 tiles of the same color that are adjacent to each other, you can immediately take a button of the corresponding color and sew it onto your plaid. It will be worth 3 victory points at the end of the game.

How does the solo mode work?

The single-player mode works exactly like the multiplayer version. The only small difference is that when replacing the market tile, you will discard the tile furthest from the deck and shift the other tiles before completing it again.  

Personally, I think the solo mode becomes interesting when playing the different scenarios. There are 10 of them, and the challenges that are proposed to us are of increasing difficulty. You start at level 1, if you succeed you can move on to level 2 and so on.

What I liked... or not

Simplicity of the rules

Within 10 minutes you will be able to start your first game with almost no need to look back in the rulebook.
In addition, the game offers a beginner's mode setup to learn the game in addition to the usual setup.

Quality of the material

We have top quality tiles, as well as a double-layer board that will prevent your tiles from slipping away.
The tiles are of a very good thickness. I love the quality of the box, so no scratches over time on it. It's a small box that won't take up much space in your boardgame collection.

Cats !

I confess, I also fell for this game because of the fuzzy little cat on the game's box. But you have to admit, the cat tokens are really cute, just like the illustrations of the game.
And what's more, you get several little biographies of each of the little cats.


Infinite combinations: out of the 6 different Objective tiles available for each player, 3 can be chosen, not to mention the 10 cats that are all different and the 6 black and white Fabric tiles that can be randomly distributed among them. So we have here a very good replayability and each game will be different.

Scenarios and achievements

To be played alone or in a multiplayer mode, these scenarios will not only add durability ti the game, but will also challenge you by inviting you to exceed the required score in order to move on to the next one.


Even if we remove all 36 tiles to reduce the element of chance, we often bear the cost of a bad tile draw.
It can be very annoying, and can cause us to miss one or more objectives if we are not focused.

Analysis paralysis

The game can quickly become a real puzzle. You want to achieve as many goals as possible, attract the most cats, or even sew a lot of buttons on your plaid.
All these things will mentally "paralyze" all the players around the table. And the game will get longer and longer while you don't know what to do anymore!





Calico is a game that you will be able to take out of your shelves at any time and learn to play in just 10 minutes. It is a game of outstanding simplicity and quality, at a very fair price.

The theme may not seem very exciting, but it is just perfect for a cosy evening by the fire. A nice surprise of the year 2020!

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