In 2014, Uwe Rosenberg released the first patchwork game at Lookout Games. Since then, there have been numerous variants of the popular puzzle game. The game mechanics have always remained the same, but the theme and design have changed. A first noticeable change came with Patchwork Express, a smaller patchwork. This game is particularly good for younger or older people as the game board and the numbers in the game are smaller, making the game easier to play. Nevertheless, the target group of the game is significantly larger, because even experienced players like the appeal of a simple and fast game.

Stack & stuff takes the basic idea of ​​Patchwork Express - an easier and faster to play patchwork. While you sewed patches in patchwork, now it's all about stacking and darning items in a moving truck. Instead of buttons you now collect coins. 

The basic idea of ​​Stack & Stopf

The theme of the game is therefore a move or the moving truck and runs consistently through the entire material. Our scoring board is a street that leads to our new house and the token represents a moving truck. Another highlight: the game board has two fold-out elements (door with driver and tires) and looks like a moving truck. So a lot of thought was given to how the new theme could be implemented graphically. 

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If you still know the game series, here are the basic rules. Each person gets a moving truck and puts the matching token on the timeline. Once a person reaches the end, their game is over. The other person then continues to play normally. Every time your stone passes a coin symbol, you get coins according to your stack parts. Coins are the currency and your points. The person who comes first onto a cardboard space receives the tile and can stow it in their car.

All stack pieces are placed randomly around the schedule and the truck is placed next to (clockwise) the smallest piece (3 squares wide). The stuffing parts (with teddy) come into play later

When it is your turn, you have 2 options:

  • Buying a part and storing it: You can only ever buy the three parts in front of the truck and have to pay the corresponding number of coins. Then move it to the now vacated position. Place the purchased part anywhere in your truck. You can rotate and mirror it, but it must not protrude from the truck. Finally, move your time marker the number of spaces indicated on the piece.
  • Advance and Collect Coins: If you don't want to or can't buy a tile, you can also advance on the schedule. You always move so far that you stop one space in front of the stone of the other person. For each square you have moved, you get a coin.

It is always one person's turn and may repeat the above options until their time marker is ahead of the other person's. 

The darning parts

Once there are only five pieces left around the schedule, the stuffing pieces come into play. These are then placed anywhere behind the truck. 

End of game & scoring

In the end, my patchwork, i.e. my moving truck, looks like this:

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As soon as both people have reached the new home with their token, the scoring takes place. It's also very simple, because you simply count all the coins that you still have in stock. From this, you subtract 2 for each empty space in your wagon. Whoever has more coins wins the game. 

The game principle

The game principle runs through the entire Patchwork series. You must use your currency wisely. On the one hand it reflects your points at the end of the game, on the other hand you want to buy the best and most valuable parts possible. The following applies: The earlier you buy parts with several coins, the better. Because every time your token passes a coin field, you get one coin for each coin in your moving truck. The more often a part takes part in such an evaluation, the more likely it is that the costs can be recovered. 

There is only limited interaction between the people, namely when a person takes a part from under your nose or buys a part and lets the moving truck advance so far that you can no longer buy the part you want. Although this is a relatively small amount of direct interaction, it has a major impact on your gameplay. 

The patchwork series

Patchwork is a textile technique in which scraps of fabric are sewn together. This is how new clothes and blankets are created. While textiles used to be sewn to make use of leftover fabric, patchwork is now an art form in which designers use the finest fabrics.

Patchwork offers the following games:

  • patchwork fabric
    • the normal patchwork game that started it all.
  • Patchwork folklore: A special limited edition where the fabric remnants are inspired by typical patterns of the country. So far there are the following games: Americana, Andes, China, Poland, Scandinavia, Taiwan
  • Patchwork special editions: With these editions, the fabric remnants are adapted to the typical holidays.
    • Halloween, Winter, Valentine's Day
  • patchwork doodles: Here you grab the pen and paint your patchwork quilt. What is striking is that this version can be played by 1-6 people.
  • Patchwork Express: Is a simplified version of patchwork with a small quilt and smaller patches. In general, the necessary numbers (for buttons and times) are smaller, so that the game is very suitable as an introduction and for older or younger people.

Opinion on Stack & Stuff

Patchwork Express was my first game in the Patchwork series. The fact that this is a simpler version has never bothered me. For me, the advantage that the games can be played quickly outweighed that. At the end of a game, it was not uncommon for the question of a revenge to follow. I was also quickly won over by the gameplay. Knitting blankets may sound a bit boring, but trying to fill in all the corners perfectly is very stimulating. 

Stack & stuff Doesn't do anything new in terms of gameplay, it mainly changes the theme of the game. We're already used to that from the patchwork series. Normally I'm always a bit skeptical when new games are the same game just in a new guise, but it doesn't bother me with the Patchwork series, I actually think it's very nice. Because everyone has the chance to play the game in his or her own favorite setting: I like Halloween, then I play the Halloween edition. I look forward to Christmas all year round, so the Christmas Edition is the right one for me. 

And so in the end it's also a matter of taste whether I tend to Patchwork Express or Stack & stuff grab. In terms of play, the game does everything right - it doesn't change anything. Graphically, I find it quite appealing, you can tell that a lot of thought has been put into how the topic can be implemented. In the end, sewing blankets, the normal patchwork express, appeals to me a little more personally. Nevertheless will Stack & stuff regularly come to my gaming table. Because if you have several games, you can not only happily switch through the editions, you can also play several patchwork games in a larger group at the same time. 

Last updated on 9.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API