A Day of Calico with the Fuzziest Calico Critter Kittens

May 9, 2021 | Sessions | 2 comments

Snuggle up with the coziest cats possible atop a beautiful quilt in the colorful and happy world of Calico.

It’s rather appalling to consider how little I’ve played Calico! Coming in as one of my top solo games of 2020, I last played it in… August. This is almost embarrassing to admit! Thankfully, I came to my senses and quickly took it down from the shelf where it could spread out across my table, much like a real cat. Tiny footsteps could be heard nearby, too!

Game Overview

Game Name: Calico
Publication Year:
 2020
Designer:
 Kevin Russ
Artist:
 Beth Sobel
Publisher: Flatout Games
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

If this doesn’t count as the snuggliest board game cover ever, I am at a loss for what would beat it! This is a game about cats and quilts. Tiles of different colors and patterns form a tapestry of cheer as cats and buttons are added. Optional solo scenarios add structured challenges, too!

The Coziest Cats in Calico
R

First Play

August 20, 2020

Complexity

2

Latest Play

May 7, 2021

Expansions

1

Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays

16

Play Time

15 Minutes

:

High Score

72

1

Game Area

14" x 16"

;

Low Score

37

A Blank Canvas or Quilt

With just the first pair of solo scenarios completed, I had a long way to go before I could be a true master quilter!

A trio of goal tiles is always used. Placement is typically up to the solo player, and this is actually very strategic. Each awards a certain number of victory points if completed.

There are bonus points if the requirements are met with both colors and patterns. But never fear! This typically isn’t necessary to win, especially with the easier options.

What a lovely view! I forgot how vibrant the tiles were. And with the cats snuggled up nearby, I was happy.

Planning to Fill in a Quilt with Goals in Calico

Falling Just Short

Originally, I rated this at the least possible complexity level. No, no! It’s still not too complicated, yet every tile needs to serve a purpose in order to do well.

Take a look at how I completed a few of the goals. In the lower-left, I succeeded in just colors. Not bad! On the right, the patterns earned me 10 victory points. Awesome!

Alas, even with the cats visiting, pink tiles were very rare and I missed out on the rainbow button. No victory here!

Yet the 15 minutes of play time felt like more, which is a good sign for me that I’m having a great time playing.

A Respectable Quilt with Many Sleepy Cats in Calico

Cozying Up to Win

I kept right at it, confident that the right strategies would come back to me. Maybe I was getting lulled to sleep in the meantime, though… How cuddly is this cat?!

Through some very careful work and the cooperation of the tile draw bag, everything fell into place. Buttons were sewn on, including the rainbow button. Very, very nice!

Maybe some elements of play seem easy, but working to achieve the scenario requirements takes some effort.

Technically, I should have moved onto the next scenario. I wanted to play again, though, and used the same setup.

Finding an Impressive Way to Win and Snuggle with Calico

Another Winning Quilt

A-ha! Once again, I pulled off a victory and proudly put my creation on display. The double-layered boards are great for holding the tiles, though I do need to be careful!

Working through the solo scenarios is a lot of fun, even if my pace is exceptionally slow. Just another leisurely session with the cats. I feel they would approve. Ha ha!

It’s always nice to sit back and admire a finished quilt. The colors are so bright, while the patterns are just lovely.

This was the best quilt of the day, and despite clearing away the cats, I had a feeling other visitors were en route…

Showing Off a Very Impressive Quilt from Calico

All the Kittens

You can’t stop the Calico Critters from stopping by, particularly with a game that shares part of their name!

These are the fuzziest little kittens out there. I also have the complete family, yet it seemed appropriate to let these tiny critters steal the show. With all that fuzz, too!

When a quilt gets enough cat visitors, it can certainly be named one of the best around. These kittens were rather intent on snuggling up and napping… No complaints here.

I was ready to call it a day and put everything away. But it seemed like no one was quite ready to fall asleep!

The Real Test of Victory with the Calico Critters and Calico

The Pre-Nap Energy

Off they all went! I would once again like to pause here to appreciate all the fuzziness. Look at the grey kitten on the right. His face is just all the fuzz, and I love it!

Siblings appeared to meet for the first time in the cutest fashion, either staring at each other or going on exciting rides. One was a little timider than the rest, though.

Little by little, things calmed down and the quilt did its job… Sending these Calico Critters off to slumberland.

As far as I can tell, though, I’m now forbidden from playing this without them in the future!

Enjoying All the Colors with Calico Critters and Calico

Session Overview

Play Number: 13-16
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Scenario 3

Outcome: 48, 59, 61, and 68 (2 Wins and 2 Losses)

Success! I pulled together my past knowledge to meet the requirements for this solo scenario twice. There are still many more to go, which just means I need to play more! I love cozy games like this. To be able to relax with a theme that doesn’t call for conflict is something I’m thankful for. All of my games have a time to be played, yet I hope I can get this one to my table more often! The cats decree it. Ha!

Shamelessly Taking the Master Quilter Award in Calico

%

10 Plays

Affordability

Price & Value

10

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

10

Originality

Design & Theme

10

Quality

Components & Rules

9

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

7

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

9

+ Pros (Positives)

  • The theme of creating a quilt to attract cats is simple, cozy, and devoid of conflict so it’s quite relaxing.
  • Double-layered boards provide a solid area to place tiles where they can’t be easily dislodged nor jostled.
  • Play time flies by in a way that feels longer than the actual time spent, adding to the enjoyment of just playing.
  • Although the rules are simple enough, finding the right arrangement takes a lot of practice and planning.
  • Multiple solo scenarios and other variables provide goals to work toward without feeling overly repetitive.
  • Every cat is illustrated beautifully in a unique pose to tell them apart and add plenty of cuteness to each session.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Bad luck with a certain color or pattern not appearing in the drawn tiles can occasionally lead to defeat.
  • Although the patterns are all very different, it takes a little adjustment to mentally see each one individually.
  • The relatively large size of the cat tokens and buttons can sometimes obscure the tiles underneath them.
  • Without an included storage solution, setup and cleanup can take extra time to organize all of the components.

More Calico

Explore related posts about Calico!

Victory Conditions

Meet the Scenario Requirements

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones

R

Complete scenario 1.

R

Complete scenario 2.

R

Complete scenario 3.

R

Score at least 40 points.

R

Score at least 50 points.

R

Score at least 60 points.

R

Score at least 70 points.

Continue the Conversation

How many solo scenarios have you completed in Calico? My pace is atrociously slow, yet that’s sometimes the best way to enjoy a game for a long time! What are some of your positives about gameplay? I was surprised about the intricacies of the strategies, but these didn’t really slow me down. Here’s to lots more cuteness from games and Calico Critters!

2 Comments

  1. In the “Another Winning Quilt” illustration (calico-impressive-little-quilt), am I misunderstanding, or is your AA-BB-C-D actually AAA-BB-C in both colours (yellow, purple, green) and shapes (flowers, stripes, spots)?

    I love the look of this one. Though of course the proper place for a cat to sleep when you’re quilting is on your work basket, since that maximises the inconvenience to you.

    Reply
    • Good question! In actuality, I failed that goal entirely. So close, though! I needed to complete 2+ goal tiles, so this was the one that was ignored. I did a very bad job of explaining which goals I completed, but you’ve got a good eye. Had I counted that one, there most certainly would have been an uproar over my inability to look for different colors and patterns!

      And definitely agreed about the work basket. Next time, I’ll have to stage a photoshoot with the kittens getting in the way with some yarn and thread. You know just where they would want to hide out. Ha ha!

      Reply

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