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Buy Flowers for Patchwork’s Tenth Anniversary

by W. Eric Martin

Patchwork is designer Uwe Rosenberg‘s second best-selling game of all time, with more than one million copies sold according to a 2023 German documentary.

One element of the game’s success — aside from it being a smartly designed game that anyone can learn in a few minutes — is that it’s possible to customize the Patchwork packaging to match local tastes, while changing nothing about the game design itself. Heck, you’re even leaning into the game’s thematic dressing by making such customizations!

Patchwork debuted in 2014, and to celebrate the game’s tenth anniversary, publisher Lookout Games is releasing…a tenth anniversary edition of the game. Yes, just as you might have expected! This edition will feature a new color scheme, new artwork and patterns by Cecila Mok and Carrie Cantwell, and the Automa Deck for solo players.

Non-final front cover

The new look of this game will be carried forward in future printings, and this edition is scheduled to debut in October 2024.

• In 2019, Lookout Games released Mandala, a two-player card game from Brett J. Gilbert and Trevor Benjamin that feels like a decades-old classic being unearthed and re-discovered.

In late 2023, Gilbert, Benjamin, and Lookout released Patterns: A Mandala Game, a two-player game with a similar hook — players setting the point value of each color during gameplay — but with a radically different feel thanks to the game having no random elements once set-up is complete. (I’ve played five times on a purchased copy and plan to record a video about the game before too long.)

In May 2024, a third title will join the family — Flowers: A Mandala Game, with this now being a 2-4 player game that leans into another aspect of the original Mandala: having all six colors present in a card display. Here’s how it works:

In Flowers: A Mandala Game, your goal is to collect flower tiles by achieving majorities through clever card play. Skillfully build mandalas to claim the best tiles, combining and multiplying them to create exquisite flowers of your own!

To set up, layout the game cloth showing three large “mandala” flowers. Shuffle the 36 half-flower tiles in separate decks — 18 each of black and white, with the black flowers being gray, purple, and red on the opposite side and the white ones being green, orange, and yellow — then place one black tile and one white tile face up in each flower. Each player starts with a hand of cards, with the cards coming in six colors that match the flower tile colors.

On a turn, a player lays down one or more cards of the same color onto one of the flowers. (Each player keeps their played cards separate, facing toward themselves.) If that color is already present in the mandala, the player then flips the card(s) face down; if not, the player leaves them face up. If the player laid down one card, they draw two cards from the deck; if they played two or more, they don’t draw any cards.

After playing, if you have at least one face-up card on a flower and more cards than any other player, take that flower’s “claim” token and place it on your cards. Then, if that flower now has all six colors face up around it, destroy the mandala. Whoever has the claim token on their cards places one of the flower tiles from this mandala in front of themselves; if they already have a flower tile of the same color, they flip this “complete” flower face down. Whoever has the secondmost cards on this mandala takes the second flower tile. Anyone who took a flower tile discards all of their played cards on this mandala; everyone else returns their played cards to their hand. Draw a black tile and white tile from the stack to create a new mandala.

Continue play until someone completes their third flower, then everyone scores their points. Each separate flower half is worth as many points as the number of flowers on it. For each complete flower, if one of the tiles is 3x, triple the number of flowers on the other tile; if both tiles have flowers, double the number of flowers on the tile with fewer flowers. Whoever has the most points wins.

Flowers: A Mandala Game will debut in Europe in May 2024, then reach U.S. and Asian stores approximately 6-8 weeks later.

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