Calico is a puzzle-y tile-laying game of quilts and cats.
In Calico, players compete to sew the coziest quilt as they collect and place patches of different colors and patterns. Each quilt has a particular pattern that must be followed, and players are also trying to create color 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 color 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.
"Much like cats themselves, Calico is a fuzzy, warm and delightful game wrapped around a brain-melting puzzle. Each game can be unique as there are various modular scoring conditions that can be changed from game to game. The goal of the game is to build your quilt pattern out in such a way as to attract the scoring condition cats to your quilt, so that they will fall asleep on it. Adorable. But you have to think several steps ahead to try and leave space to score multiple times, while also contending with the fact that the tile selection each turn will be limited to the two you have in hand. When you draw back up after playing a tile, you select from three face up tiles in the market. The market is then refilled by a random draw from the bag.
The game is further complicated in interesting ways by the fact that you are also able to score points by creating sections of same color patches to earn buttons for your quilt as well as by the individual design goals that are unique to you and your player board. The game is pretty simple mechanically. You often have about one choice per turn, but every choice matters so much to how well you score later in the game. It is right up there with Azul for me as a visual puzzler with hidden depth. The production quality is bonkers for how low the price is, and I would feel comfortable recommending this to just about anyone whether for family or friend game nights."