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Video Game / Quilts & Cats of Calico

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Quilts & Cats of Calico is a Casual Puzzle Board Game developed and published by Monster Couch. It's the digital adaptation of Calico, a board game by Kevin Russ and published by Flatout Games, the latter of which also helped in adapting it to a video game. It was initially planned for a Fall/Q3 2023 release on the Nintendo Switch, but was delayed for unknown reasons. It was released on Steam on March 6, 2024.

The board game is a 1-4 player game where you compete to make the highest-scoring quilt. Players start with two hexagonal Patch Tiles on their hands, which they lay on their Quilt Boards to make their quilts. Players then take turns picking new Patch Tiles from the Tile Market to complete Design Goals, which score points based on whether they completed the tile set using colors, patterns, or both. Players can also chain three Patch Tiles of the same color to sew buttons for 3 points each, and collecting all six differently colored buttons gives them the Rainbow Button for another 3 points. Additionally, players can attract cats by chaining their preferred patterns by quantity or shape to score more points.

The video game adaptation also offers Story Mode, where you continue your missing father's quilting legacy by sewing quilts for the residents of the Kingdom of Scratchington. This is done by solving puzzles using a modified Quilt Board such as laying a predetermined set of Patch Tiles to gain a certain number of buttons or cats. Some puzzles restrict you to only being able to lay adjacent colors or patterns or picking directly from the Tile Market, while the boss battles involve winning against the AI while completing the puzzle's other requirements.

Has no relation to Calico despite both of them involving cats.

This game provides examples of:

  • And Your Reward Is Edible: Greta rewards you with food from her stall for completing her puzzles, telling you that It May Help You on Your Quest. You can give it to Billy when he asks for it.
  • Cats Are Magic: Scratchington is home to the most magical cats, which bring good luck and prosperity. The residents of Tomkitty City worship them and ask them for blessings.
  • Character Customization: You can create a custom cat that can appear in the game as a visitor. You can customize its appearance such as its body type, fur color and pattern, and even make it wear clothes.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Patch Tiles and buttons come in pink, yellow, green, light blue, navy blue, and purple. Chaining three Patch Tiles of the same color gives you a button of the corresponding color, and collecting all six gives you the Rainbow Button.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits pan over a quilt showing various buttons next to the staff names, and the "Production Pets" section shows photos of the staff's beloved animal companions.
  • Cute Kitten: The game has you sewing quilts to attract adorable cats. Some roam the board and can be petted, although you can make them sleep on one side.
  • Disappeared Dad: The Quilter's father Albert left for Tomkitty five years before the events of the game to help the Kingdom of Scratchington at war against its neighbors. He was never heard from again, but he passed down his sewing tools to his child so they could continue his legacy as a quilter. To the Quilter's surprise, it turns out that he's alive and well, secretly working as the Head Engineer of the Factory to mass-produce fabrics for the army using the Iron Loom. He had to leave the Quilter behind for the latter's safety.
  • Effortless Achievement: There are achievements for completing the tutorial, petting a cat, and clearing all the Acts in Story Mode.
  • Featureless Protagonist: In Story Mode, the Quilter is never shown onscreen and is represented by their caravan in the overworld map and board game. They're not referred to with any pronouns and are called "my child" towards the end of the game.
  • Flintstone Theming: Each location in Story Mode has a cat pun in it: the Kingdom of Scratchington, the Free City of Tomkitty, and Tiny Whiskerhaven.
  • Gratuitous French: Frida of the upper part of Tomkitty peppers French phrases in her speech.
  • Great Offscreen War: Albert left Tomkitty to fight in the war against Scratchington's neighbors, while his child meets the army at Tiny Whiskerville to sew for them. Due to the cozy tone of the game and its focus on quilting and cats, we don't get to see the war itself.
  • Handmade Is Better: Aunt Agatha doesn't trust the Iron Loom, which mass-produces quilts, because its operators don't care about the quality of its output, which is why the cats aren't attracted to it. When Mona challenges the Quilter to a duel with the Iron Loom, they manage to beat it with their handmade quilt. While Mona is impressed by their skills, she uses that to "improve" the Iron Loom so it'll perform better than humans. It's later revealed that Albert invented the Iron Loom out of desperation to win the war, and he regrets giving up hand-making quilts for it. However, he's proud of his child continuing his legacy, so he asks them to sew a quilt for him to show how far they've come.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Upon entering the Heart of the Factory, the Quilter is shocked to discover that the Head Engineer is their father. He has been secretly working there to help the army and invented the Iron Loom to mass-produce fabrics for them. Albert regrets giving up his passion for hand-making quilts and abandoning his child for their protection, but he's proud of them continuing his legacy.
  • Narrator All Along: The narrator of Story Mode is revealed to be Matthew, the craftsman in Act 1 who succeeds Albert as Head Engineer. Matthew claims that either he had been watching the Quilter's journey the whole time or "maybe" the cats told him about it.
  • Never Given a Name: The Cat Whisperer says that ze has "no gender, name, or history", and ze goes by Oomi because that's what other people call hir.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • There are Sidequests you can do in Story Mode to gain rewards, but if you don't do them before finishing the plot-important puzzles in an act, you won't be able to access them again.
    • The Altruist achievement requires you to feed Billy each time he asks you for food. Missing him just once locks you out of this.
  • Pictorial Letter Substitution: The logo has the ampersand made of yellow thread and a sewing needle replacing the horizontal part of the "A" in "Calico".
  • Post-End Game Content: After completing Story Mode, Aunt Agatha tells you that you can still help around town with your quilting skills, meaning that there are bonus puzzles.
  • Queer Colors: Tina's twin sister Mona has a masculine body and voice and has a quilt with the trans colors draped across her shoulder.
  • Queer Establishing Moment:
    • When the Quilter first meets Matthew, the latter mentions having a husband who co-runs his workshop.
    • Aunt Agatha refers to Oomi with ze/hir pronouns when she tells the Quilter to find hir in the Upper City. Oomi hirself confirms that ze's "a being with no gender, name, or history", only going by what other people call hir.
  • Rainbow Lite: The Rainbow Button is missing orange since the six buttons needed to get it are missing that color.
  • Rugged Scar: Cousin Frank, a soldier fighting in Scratchington's war against its neighbors, has two big scars running down his right cheek.
  • Set Bonus: Besides completing Design Goals, which involves completing sets of colors, patterns, or both, to score points, you can chain three Patch Tiles of the same color to get a button of that color and collect all six of them to get the Rainbow Button. You can also attract cats by arranging Patch Tiles of the same pattern by their number in the chain or the chain's shape, giving you bonus points.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The Switch trailer shows Albert in the Quilter's childhood home, spoiling their family reunion at the end of the game.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: There's an achievement for feeding Billy each time he asks you for food.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: There's an achievement for refusing to give Billy food each time he asks for it. Fittingly, it's called "Scrooge".
  • Video Game Perversity Prevention: The Cat Editor automatically prevents you from using swear words to name your cat.
  • Voice Grunting: When you initiate a conversation with the NPCs, their voice clips play at their first line of dialogue.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue describes what happens to the NPCs you've met one week after the Feline Festival is held in celebration of the truce between the Kingdom of Scratchington and the enemy kingdom:
    • Frida becomes successful in theatre in Tomkitty.
    • General Joseph retires and returns to his wife Vivianne, who recovers from her illness. They return to their respective hobbies, gardening and singing, and make more time for each other.
    • After mysteriously vanishing during the festival, Oomi leaves a cryptic note in hir hermitage: "Meow the Force be with you."
    • Gustav resigns from the army and becomes a private investigator. He also makes amends with his rival Edward.
    • Edward and Frank open their own men's boutique and become popular in Tomkitty for their designs. They even tailor for the royal family.
    • Flora rebuilds her trading business and opens up a new shop, which is co-run with Greta.
    • Billy stops begging in the streets for food and joins the biggest circus in Tomkitty as an acrobat.
    • Tina and Mona continue working for the Head Engineer as Senior Engineers. After building the soil fertilizer machine, which helped end the war, they focus on making useful technologies for the community, with prosthetics being their biggest success.
    • The Quilter and their father rekindle their relationship after the latter left them to help fight the war by working at the Factory. He returns to his old job as a traditional quilter, and he and his child open a tailor shop together.
    • Matthew becomes the new Head Engineer after Albert resigns and is revealed to be the Narrator All Along.