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English language edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 30 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Michael Schacht

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

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Product Description

Like a Chameleon, a player may change his color many times during the game. However, players who change colors too often will not do well and may even earn minus points for doing so. This means that a player must wait for the proper time and place to make the change, but do it before his opponents do.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2003
Deutscher Spiele Preis
9th Place, 2003
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2003

Product Information


  • 88 cards
  • 1 rule booklet
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Product Reviews

Alan How
May 31, 2003

I like card games and in my collection [page scan/se=0088/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=10]Hattrick gets top marks. I must have played it several hundred times and what is attractive to me is that no matter how good or bad your hand appears to be, and whether you play with 4 or 6 players, it is always great fun.

Coloretto has some flavour of Hattrick and has already had many outings in its short life time. It is too early for me to classify it as being as good, but it is showing some similar tendencies.

The game is incredibly simple. Seven coloured suits of cards are shuffled and placed in a pile. The 16th from bottom card is a last round marker and when this appears, it shows that the last round of cards will be concluded. There are a number of rows of cards laid out with one per player. In order to make the game even easier, there are special row cards, which show how many rows are available to select. Each player only has two choices on their turn - either draw a card from the face-down deck and play it against one of the rows or take all the cards in a row. The clever part of the game is that when you take a row of cards, you are out of this round and cannot take further rows or add cards to rows. So you have to choose your moment. There is maximum of three cards in a row, at which time you can either add to other rows or select a row to collect.

Each player tries to collect cards in the same colour. You can score up to three sets with positive scores, while the rest will be scored negatively. (Just like Hattrick and Mit List and Tcke except the number of positive and negative suits are different.) The scoring in Coloretto is 1 point for the first card, 3 points for two cards, 6 points for three and so on with a maximum of 21 points for 6 matching cards. (This is a difference between Coloretto and Hattrick as there is no imposed maximum in Hattrick, but the rule works well.)

Initially the game is quite simple. Draw a card and play it. But very quickly the decisions are slightly more difficult. Do you add a second colour to the first one or place it on a separate row? When a matching colour comes up do you mix it with another card or match the colours? As the rounds progress, players focus on specific colours. So one person might collect yellow, brown and green while another is after yellow, pink and blue. When a row has a yellow and you draw a blue, you will probably split it from the yellow. But if there was already another blue card on the row that you could place it with, do you add it to yellow or make blue doubly valuable? Just to add spice to the colour mix there are a few jokers and +2 cards which make the combinations of cards more interesting. Jokers are always taken straight away as they can be added to any coloured set at the end of the round and increase the value of that set by one card's value, which is usually 6 or 5 points.

We play a round per player and while scores are higher with 3 players, it is equally playable with 3, 4 or 5 players.

The game has so many tough choices, but from simple options, that it is instantly enjoyable. It is a wonderful end of evening closer and terrific value. If you have the remotest interest in cards, it is well worth getting. If you like card games a great deal, then this is a must buy.

John McCallion
December 31, 2003

The deck's unnumbered cards feature seven colors, "Plus 2" cards, and the End card (shuffled near the bottom). Each turn, you may choose to draw a card and place it faceup in any row with less than three cards (the number of rows equals the number of players). Alternately, you may end your participation in the round by picking and retaining faceup all cards in any row, eliminating that row. Rounds end when everyone has selected cards. A lone remaining player can add cards to the last row before picking.

When the End card appears, play stops. Choose three of your colors to score positive points: 1 to 21 in each color, depending on quantity. Remaining colors score negative points. Each Plus 2 card earns two points. Highest score wins. Schacht again dazzles us with the beguiling challenges radiating from his elegant rules.

Other Resources for Coloretto:

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