Calico is a puzzly tile-laying game of quilts and cats.
In Calico, players compete to sew the coziest quilt as they collect and place patches of different colours and patterns. Each quilt has a particular pattern that must be followed, and players are also trying to create colour and pattern combinations that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also able to attract the cuddliest cats!
Turns are simple. Select a single patch tile from your hand and sew it into your quilt, then draw another patch into your hand from the three available. If you are able to create a colour group, you may sew a button onto your quilt. If you are able to create a pattern combination that is attractive to any of the cats, it will come over and curl up on your quilt! At the end of the game, you score points for buttons, cats, and how well you were able to complete your unique quilt pattern.
Calico began as a Kickstarter item (essentially a crowdfunding site for various projects) and gained such a huge support on there, that not only did it end up going for sale in retail stores (doesn't always happen) but the first shipments even sold out in a lot of stores. Each player receives a board onto which your tiles will be placed, there are also tiles, which have select tiles to place around it, if you manage to meet its requirements then that is bonus points. For my first few games with the kids we just skipped this part to make it a little easier to learn. The game is also handy in that it gives suggested cats to use when learning how to play, with more complicated goals for down the track.
Each turn, you place one tile anywhere on your board, you then receive any cat or colour patches and place them on your board, pick a new tile from the two face up and then replace, so there are always two there. The patches and cats are what you need in order to gain points during the game, either by three of the same colour touching, or the correct number of the same pattern touching (and for some cats in a certain configuration) to gain a cat to place down. What I like about this game is that no two quilts are ever going to look the same, it will change each time as to what two tiles are available to choose from, where you place your tiles and what patches/cats you gain.
By taking away the bonus tiles, this ended up being a simple game that my special needs child could pick up quickly and play without any help from the rest of us, and for us adults, a bit more of a challenge can be had when wanted. This is a lovely game, and I'm glad I pounced on a copy when I did.
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