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June 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 6
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Roundtable Reviewers Say Patchwork Matches Criteria for Strategy and Fun

Families Appreciate Patterned Cards and Thoughtful Play


“Once they started to play, they were hooked!”Audra Estes, mother of four
TDmonthly Magazine's Grade School Roundtable recently played Patchwork from Knightweaver Games LLC. The goal is to make sets of four matching patterned cards, but Patchwork is not your typical matching card game. Double-sided cards and the ability to steal opponents' cards take the strategy to much higher levels. Families rallied to the challenge and the result was fun for all.

Patchwork™ by KNIGHTWEAVER GAMES LLC
Other products by KNIGHTWEAVER GAMES LLC
Age: 5 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: General Games
MSRP: $19.99

TDmonthly
rating:


Editor's Note: Gamewright
announced May 25, 2010, that it signed an agreement for the worldwide publishing rights to Patchwork. Play will remain the same; however, Gamewright will re-launch the game as FlipSide in late 2010 or early 2011.

What It Is:
Two to five players trade colorful, patterned cards in an attempt to make sets of four matching cards. The cards are double-sided, and players have the option to steal another player’s cards to complete a set. The game includes wooden cardholders.

What the Moms Thought:
“The game is easy, enjoyable and quick for all ages,” raved Estes. She pointed out that 5-year-old Parker picked the game up quickly, yet Justin (14), Sebastian (11) and Preston (8) were still challenged enough to be interested in playing. Thomas found the game fun for the entire family.

Lilova commented on the originality of the game’s premise, and Richardson liked the strategic aspect. She also commented on the high quality of the cards and cardholders. Flamenco lamented that she had to go online for directions as no instruction sheet was included in their game. She added, though, that once the kids understood the rules, “they could pretty much play on their own with very little supervision.”

Richardson appreciated the minimal packaging. “It is impressive to have two ‘seals of approval’ (Seal of Excellence and Dr. Toy),” she continued, adding that she actively looks for such seals. Lilova liked that up to five people could play at once.

“The holders are creatively shaped and well made; the colors and patterns of the cards were pleasant to look at and were made well,” noted Estes. Lilova liked that the cards were double sided.

What the Kids Thought:
“It is the perfect mix of strategy and luck,” exclaimed Justin (14). Although her sons were initially hesitant to play what seemed like a “girl’s game,” Estes reported, “Once they started to play, they were hooked!”

Parker (5) and Preston (8) enjoyed beating their older brothers, and Justin (14), Sebastian (11), Alexander (10) and Jessica (8) enjoyed teaching it to friends. “We even had one friend ask if he could borrow the game for the weekend so he could show his brothers,” Richardson said.

Alexander (10) and Jessica (8) liked the strategy involved in play and in stealing sets from other players. “The element of surprise was great fun for them!” commented Richardson. Brandon (7), Emilio (9) and Jonathan (11) had fun watching other players’ cards and plotting their next moves. “I liked that you have to use a strategy to get four cards in a row,” said Jonathan (11).

Radina (13) and Victor (6) found the cards visually appealing and enjoyed the competition that ensued during the game. They “particularly liked the wooden cardholders,” observed Lilova. Liz (14) and Tom (16) liked the designs and colors of the cards; “Rose (9) thinks the game is fun to play but hard to win,” Thomas reported.

What the Kids Learned from this Toy:
Estes listed making sets, strategy, logic, sequencing and planning as skills her boys worked on while playing Patchwork. Lilova reported that Radina (13) and Victor (6) “learned to be patient and challenge their mind a bit by coming up with possibilities to win the game by switching the cards around.”

Alexander (10) and Jessica (8) worked on thinking and playing smart, observed Richardson. “Strategic thinking went beyond your typical card game because of the relative complexity of being able to play off of other’s hands and having to plan ahead for your next move,” she said. “They also learned to handle disappointment when their perfect hand was swept away by another!”

Flamenco stated, “This game helps kids with focusing skills since they have to stare at cards for a good amount of time before they make their move.”

How to Improve It:
Estes noted that the name of the game “Patchwork” didn’t initially appeal to her sons; she suggested Colorblock or Matchwork. Lilova and Thomas would like to see the instructions simplified. Richardson agreed, especially “when or if the cards should be shuffled.”

Flamenco suggested more cards be included, and she would also like to see a score pad in the game.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This? “As a parent, this is one game that I would give as a gift to another family; it would be fun to play on vacation, too,” summed up Estes. “The game’s pace is not too fast or too slow, just right for everyone.”

Preston (8) exclaimed, “I can’t wait to play it with Grandma when she comes to visit.”

Roundtable participants are World Bank policy advisor Gail Richardson with Alexander (10) and Jessica (8); substitute teacher Veronica Flamenco with Matthew (13), Jonathan (11), Emilio (9) and Brandon (7); machine operator Geena Thomas with Tom (16), Liz (14) and Rose (9); research scientist Kostadinka Lilova with Radina (13) and Victor (6); and homeschool parent Audra Estes with Justin (13), Sebastian (11), Preston (8) and Parker (5).



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Susan LedfordWriter's Bio: Susan Ledford is the writer, editor and publisher of the "Homeschool Resources Directory for S.C."  She has been evaluating toys and games for TDmonthly's Roundtable reviews since 2005. She also is a homeschool veteran of seven years. Read more articles by this author

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