DIGIDICED, the digital production company that made LeHavre: The Inland Port, has released a mobile version of Uwe Rosenberg’s Patchwork. I’m a big fan of the original game, so I was really curious how the digital version stacked up against it.
The basics of the games are the same: two players are competing to create the best quilt. As the game progresses, you’ll collect blocky, scrap pieces that you’ll need to find space for in your fabric tableau. Pieces may include buttons which are the games currency for buying more pieces. It’s a bit reminiscent of Tetris, as you have a limited amount of space on your quilt and leaving empty spots will count against you in the final score.
You also have the added problem of having limited choices about which pieces you can use. Each piece you take , not only costs buttons, but also time in the form of movement along the track. A low scoring piece may only cost your 1 or 2 spaces whereas a high scoring piece with tons of buttons might cost you 5 or 8 spaces. Thus while the games seem simple at first (buy a piece, place it, repeat), they are actually highly strategic. You can get a more in depth look at the original board game in Rob’s review of Patchwork.
So what do you get for spending $2.99 on the mobile version? Well, the digital game allows you to play against three different levels of AI in single player mode, or compete against your friends in cross-platform multiplayer or local play; it’s customizable, and it brings a bit more wimsy in with its patchwork illustrated characters.
The game itself, is very true to the original, but include a few cosmetic touches I appreciate. As you choose pieces and add them to your quilt there is an animation of the pieces being sewn together. Also the background screen can be changed out with two free screens or you can purchase others for only $0.99. Not exactly stunning DLC, but I appreciate that at least it’s completely optional and doesn’t affect gameplay.
That said, there are some things that irk me about the game. WHERE IS THE UNDO BUTTON? There are several losses to my name recorded for prosperity due to the simple fact that my butterfingers clicked on a piece before I was really ready to choose. Once you’ve made a selection, you are locked in. The quilting gods look down on indecision, apparently, and have commanded that no undo button shall exist!
Also, the tutorial is great for learning the game, but if you happen to forget any of the rules, there really isn’t a way to go back and check them. This is fine for a player who is familiar with the game, but I imagine for a new player it might be frustrating.
Those issues aside, I think the Patchwork mobile app is really well done. If DIGIDICED decides to release any more DLC, I hope it will be in the form of a variety of fun patterns for the quilt pieces. If you like the original board game and are looking for a way to play with your long-distance friends or want a quiet game to yourself, the Patchwork mobile app is a solid purchase. You can pick up a copy on the iOS app store, Google Play, or the Windows Store.