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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!