A game for 1 – 4 players
Play time 30 – 45 minutes
Designer: Kevin Russ
Artist: Beth Sobel
Publisher: Flatout Games & Alderac Entertainment Group
This box, got the following components in it:
4 dual-layer quilt boards
108 Patch Tiles (6 sets of 18 patch tiles)
24 Design (4 sets of 6 in 4 player colors)
80 cat tokens
52 Button tokens (8 of each color + 4 rainbow)
6 Black & White patch tiles
1 Cloth Tile bag
1 Button scoring tile
5 Double-sided scoring tiles
1 Score pad
1 Master Quilter tile
Here you see an example of a quilt board with already some patch tiles on it.
Here you see the same board but then with the button tokens that are placed on the quilt board. Now this player scores extra points.
Let’s get it to the table
In Calico, players compete to make the coziest quilt by placing patch tiles of different colors and patterns. Each game board has 3 unique design goals (tiles) that earn points once the requirements are met. In addition, you will also be able to piece together patterns to collect buttons.
The player with the most points is the Master Quilter until the next game
First we’re going to setup the player boards and the table;
Choose 3 of the kittens and their matching cat tokens in the center of the table. When you’re going to play if for the first time, we would recommend to play with Millie, Tibbit and Coconut. Then randomly assign 2 of the Black & White patch tiles to each Cat Scoring Tile.
Now shuffle all the Patch Tiles and place them in facedown stacks or put them into the bag.
Place the Button Scoring Tile and buttons also in the center of the table.
Every player now receives a Quilt Board and their matching set of 6 Design Goal Tiles. Every player now shuffle their 6 Tiles and choose 4 tiles, reveal these 4 tiles and choose 3 of them and place them into your Quilt Board.
Reveal 3 Patch Tiles and place them face up in the center of the table.
Lastly, each player receives 2 Patch Tiles and keeps them hidden from the other players.
Here you see the double-sided cat scoring tiles, in this case you see 6 tiles. This is because on of the cats are an expansion.
Now we are ready to play!
On your turn you must perform 2 steps!
Step 1; Choose 1 of the 2 Patch Tiles in your hand and place one on your Quilt Board into any open space. Then check your Quilt Board if you’ve gained any Cat and/ or Button Token. If you’ve gained a token, take and place this token onto one of the tiles that scored it.
Step 2; Choose one of the three faceup Patch Tiles and take one into your hand. Refill the market with a Patch Tile from the facedown stack or bag.
Design Goal Tiles
Each design goal is a long-term goal that may score points at the end of the game. On each Tile you’ll see 2 different points. The first/ left one is when you’ve reached one of the 2 goals, the other one is when you’ve completed both goals.
Cat scoring Tiles & Cat tokens
The patterns on you Patch Tiles can attract cats to your quilt. In each game each of the 3 cats on the table got 2 different pattern tiles. These can be scored during the game. When you’ve played a new tile onto you Quilt Board you take a look at the tiles under these cats.
As soon as you meet one of the 6 pattern tiles you may take a cat tile from the corresponding cat.
As soon as you have taken a cat tile, place it on one of the corresponding tiles with which you have just scored.
Button scoring Tiles & Button tokens
The colors on your Patch Tiles can earn you buttons to sew onto your quilt. To sew a button onto your quilt you must make a group of three Patch Tiles ore more of the same color. When a group has been formed you can take a Button from that color. When you want to create a new group, you have to form a separate group.
As soon as you have taken a button tile, place it on one of the corresponding tiles with which you have just scored. If you have all the different color buttons you can take a rainbow token.
Here you see the 3 cat scoring tiles, with a cat token above the tiles and the 6 black and white tiles below.
Normally you place more cat tokens above the cats but this is an example.
The Master Quilter tile, you receive this one when you win the game.
End of the game
The game ends when each player’s Quilt is completely filled with Patch Tiles, this takes 22 turns for every player. When every player is ready we’re going to count the points for the Design Goals, Cat tokens and Button tokens.
The player with the most points is the Master Quilter.
Final Conclusion & rating:
Weight: 1 / 5
My rating: 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲
Quality of the components
The artwork is really very nicely done. Calico is a beautiful game and very fun to play. The Quilt Board is of very good quality, it is a thick and sturdy board and therefore it plays tremendously nice. The Patch tiles lay extremely well in the game board and it really looks like you are making a quilt.
The cat tiles are also very nice and well made, what I find funny is that they have used real cats and you can see them in the back of the rulebook.
If you look at the rules of the game and the explanation of Calico, I must say that everything is very well explained. It is a nice rulebook to hold but also the rules are explained very well with several examples. The game also starts with an easy variant or a family variant. Once you are more experienced, you can also make the game more difficult and choose a different setup.
Overall impression of the game
The first time I saw Calico, I didn’t get very excited. That was mostly due to the theme, cats and making a quilt. But when I started to dive into Calico and look at the game itself with the rules and the accompanying game components I became more and more enthusiastic.
My girlfriend also became very enthusiastic and we have played the game quite a few times. It is great fun to try and collect as many points as possible in various ways by looking at the pattern tiles as well as the design goals and of course trying to collect buttons.
Because of all these possibilities to score points but also because of all the adjustments you can do while setting up the game. For example, by using different cat tiles or different design goals, the game changes every time. The replay ability of Calico is therefore quite high.
In addition, you can also play the game solo, which is definitely on the agenda soon. But the game with 2 and 3 players is also definitely a must and a keeper in the game cabinet.
I want to thank AEG Games for giving me the possibility to review Calico. My review hasn’t been effected by this.