13 November 2019
Adding another patch to the polyomino-quilted world of Patchwork
Adding another patch to the polyomino-quilted world of Patchwork and its quicker version Patchwork Express is Patchwork Doodle. Players are once again trying to fill a grid with Tetris style pieces – except in this roll and write addition you’ll being drawing them in.
Replacing the cardboard tiles with pencils has made quite a difference to the game, although the core concept itself has changed very little. It is no longer limited to two players – as long as pencils and grid paper are in supply, there is no limit on the number of players. Whereas in the original Patchwork players claimed the polyomino they wanted to weave into their quilt, therefore limiting the pool of available pieces, in Doodle the same piece is drawn by everyone and the number of different shapes has been carefully designed to fit a set number of rounds.
Doodle dispenses with its predecessor’s button economy as a means of earning victory points, focusing entirely on filling up the grid in the most strategic and productive manner. Players have special powers that they can use to take the advantage of the shape they need to draw. Final scoring is most rewarding
when the grid has been filled in thoughtfully and efficiently.
The simple act of drawing lifts up the game. Whether you are shading the pieces in different colours or drawing them with various patterns, every grid quilt gains a little bit of its author’s personality. The simplicity of the shapes allows anyone to be an equal competitor in the game and, no matter the artistic prowess, produce something visually pleasing.
Patchwork and the various tile placement games before and after it have covered the topic of geometric shapes filling a grid thoroughly, yet Patchwork Doodle effortlessly manages to fit something fresh and special into the well-worn gameplay pattern.
PLAY IT? Yes
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Klemens Franz
Time: 20 minutes
This review originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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