Uwe Rosenberg is back and this time Patchwork Halloween is fang-tastic!
Publisher: Lookout Spiele
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Klemens Franz, Rex Lee, Gru Tsow
Release date: 2021
Favouritefoe score: 9/10
It’s the most spook-tastic time of the year! And to celebrate, Lookout Spiele have just released their latest seasonal reskin of the legendary, 2 player polyomino powerhouse, Patchwork! Hot on the heels of Christmas, Americana, and other gorgeous renditions of Uwe Rosenberg’s strategic tile layer comes Patchwork Halloween.
Pretty Pumpkin Patch!
If you have played the original Patchwork, then you will know how it works. And, in truth, the game play hasn’t changed in this version. But, if you need to know what it’s all about, click here to read my Patchwork Christmas review that takes you through the spooky set up!
However you play Patchwork Halloween, it’s wonderfully wicked! Strategic, tight, tactical game play where every decision counts. You’ll want the most eyeball laden patches every time, but you’ll often spend more in income and time to get them. You also need to consider quilt coverage. With every empty square on your board incurring a -2 point penalty, pretty big patches will sometimes trump the more profitable ones. This is ultimately a game of trade-offs, and it’s terrifyingly good!
Sometimes, passing over a few spaces to earn some eyeball income is the best option. Increasing your purchasing power will put you in prime position next turn. Not only that, it could stop your ogre-ous opponent from having their pick of better patches. Other times, you’ll want to race ahead to get the plumpest patches you can. Witch-ever way you play, Patchwork Halloween is tight and terror-ific!
However you play it, you only have your brain to blame if it all goes ghoulishly wrong! A “perfect information” game where nothing is hidden, you can’t hide behind an unlucky dice roll or card draft if you can’t patch together a victory!
Look underneath the frightfully fun fascade and and the brilliance of the original Patchwork remains. There are also two sides to the time track for different game experiences – this was missed in the Christmas edition.
There has, however, also been a little refinement since Uwe’s hit game first dropped in 2014. And that is thanks, rather ironically, to the digital implementation of the same game. Don’t worry, the tweaks are not sufficient to send shivers down your spine. But seasoned players will spot a small but no less significant change (besides the eyeballs!). 14 out of the 33 patches have gone through a little adjustment. And as a result, cost v reward v quilt space coverage is now even more balanced.
It isn’t an in-your-face change, but our final positions in the Halloween edition have been closer than our games using either the original and Christmas versions. This could be a cold-blooded coincidence, of course. But I would like to think that the efforts to keep this veteran of the tabletop have not been in vain. It takes courage on the part of a designer to keep improving an immensely successful game. Thankfully, however, the king of puzzly play knows what he is doing, plarticularly when it comes to Patchwork!
Potty for Patches!
Ultimately, we have a great time whatever version of Patchwork we play. Being out-and-proud hate drafters, this cosy game about quilting often descends into a share scrap over the most popular patches. And we love it for that reason. If you have one version of Patchwork already, I wouldn’t say this one is essential for gameplay purposes. However, if you are new to the collection, are a completionist, or you just love to have a game that looks fit for the festivities, then Patchwork Halloween is a keeper!