Manufacturer Abacus
Year 2003
Designer Michael Schacht
Coloretto box

Coloretto


A simple set collection card game from Michael Schacht.

Background

Players attempt to collect as many cards of three suits as they can, but any cards in other suits count against you.

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The Gameplay

Coloretto consists of a deck of 6 suits of colored chameleons, a handful of +2 cards, and three jokers. A special row card is placed on the table for each player. Each player then gets a single card in front of them, (all of different suits), and the game begins. On a player's turn they have two options. Option one: turn over the next card in the deck and place it in one of the rows. Option two: take one of the row cards and all of the cards in that row. Each row can hold at most three cards, and you cannot take an empty row. Once you have take a row, you are out of the round, and play continues until all of the rows have been taken. The row cards are placed back in the center of the table, and the process starts again, with the player who took the last row starting the new round. When the "last round" card is turned up, (which was placed on top of 15 cards at the bottom of the deck), the round continues until all rows are taken, and then scoring ensues.

The Scoring

The scoring is very simple in that you get points for each card you take in three suits of your choosing. Each card is worth its number in terms of how many you have, giving a triangular numbered list of values, (1 card = 1, 2 cards = 1 + 2, 3 cards = 1 + 2 + 3, 4 cards = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, etc. up to a maximum of 6 cards = 21). Each +2 card gives you 2 points. Each suit other than the three you chose counts negatively in the same way as mentioned above. A single hand or multiple hands can be played.

Why this game is so great

It's inexpensive, nice to look at, simple to teach, and is filled with interesting decisions. Yet it plays fairly quickly, as a player's choices are tricky, but not overly complex. Generally, if you draw a card in a suit you want, you put it in a row that is good for you, but one that isn't good for anyone else. The problem is that often times if a row gets "too good", someone else may take it just to thwart you getting it. Or someone else wants it almost as much as you. Or you really don't want the card, but someone else does, so you have to decide whether to put it in the row you've had your eye on just to keep it from them. Plus there are lots of ways to mess with your opponents, placing cards they really don't want along with something they really do want. There are lots of "arrrgh" moments when your right hand opponent takes the row you were about to take. All in all a great opener or closer for a gaming session, or a good game to spring on non-gamers.

Why others don't agree

It's not all that interesting with 3 players, and some may find it repetitive or a bit too chaotic.

Recap

Strategy: 6
Complexity: 2
Fun: 8
Overall: 7

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