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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

Publisher(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


Average Rating: 4.7 in 13 reviews

by Glen McKnight
Great New Player Game
November 18, 2011

I love games, and have lots of friends who are willing to play games but the challenge is the environment. When my friends are all together we are drinking, talking loud and often in a bar. So I have needed to find some games that can be taught easy, remembered after a few beers, and doesn't require lots of discussion. This game has been incredible for that. And for me there is enough strategy that I feel like I am still really playing something. A really great game. I need to find more like it.

Packs a lot of meat for such a simple game
September 12, 2006

Coloretto packs a lot of meat for such a simple game. It's easy to learn, plays quick, yet leaves you wanting more. The elements of this game I enjoy the most is the "Press Your Luck" aspect found in choosing to draw more cards or just take what's there, and in guessing what your opponents will do. One thing I like about this and "Lost Cities" and "Ra" is the way you can "tempt" your opponent to take cards/tiles, hoping that they grab what's there rather than getting something better by holding out.

A lot of risk-taking and agonizing decision making. Basically you're trying to build up your own colors, but the colors you decide to build up are chosen by you, and can even be changed in the middle of a round. However, changing your mind too much will end up counting against you because every card taken that's not in your top 3 colors will give negative points.

The "rainbow" and "plus 2" cards add to the fun as well. It's always fun when you're the only one left that can draw cards and you draw a couple of those.

Definitely on my want list after having played it. I hope to get it soon.

Simple, Elegant, and fun
June 11, 2005
I have been looking at Coloretto for a couple of years, thinking it might make a good addition to my games shelf, but never quite sure. I recently picked up a copy from Funagain, and I am glad I did. This is a fun game for groups that really just want to get together and talk, without being boring. The rules had a rough ride in their translation from German to English, but once we started a round everything fell into place and made sense; like all games, reading the rules is the hardest part. The cards are beautifully illustrated, and I was pleased to see that they no longer simply have the generic backs that an earlier reviewer bemoaned. My Coloretto deck has a very nice monochrome pattern on the back with the word "Coloretto" on it. I played this game three or four times after opening it, and everyone one who played enjoyed it. So if you are looking for a simple, enexpensive, and extremely portable game that anyone can play, give Coloretto a try.
Nice little game
May 12, 2004

This is a good small card game as other reviewers wrote below.

But, if you are looking for a game for non-gamers or children, I don't recommend this one. Because, the scoring is a bit difficult for them. And there are few enthusiasm nor dynamism of luck.

I'd prefer 6nimmt when I play with non-gamers.

Anyway, this game is great.

Simple, yet very challenging! A 'must have' card game.
April 15, 2004

I concur with the assessments of Messrs How and McCallion, so I won't repeat them here.

This game is great for families, as well as a filler for serious strategy gamers. The rules are simple and easily learned, and the game moves along briskly, yet Coloretto is more challenging than most card games of similar complexity. There are various strategies & tactics to employ, that become more apparent after the first or second playing.

I highly recommend it. If you're only going to own a few cards games, this one is a 'keeper.'

One of the best fillers available.
February 19, 2004

There are a LOT of filler games available nowadays, so many that some of them never make it to the table. The bar has been raised, and a filler has to be quick, fun, and exciting and easy to teach. A filler game that does not meet all of these qualities will probably be played rarely, if at all. So, when my friend first introduced me to Coloretto (Abacus Spiele, 2003 Michael Schact), it didnt immediately strike me as a game that was any of the above. The cards were pretty enough, but the rules seemed TOO simple to be any fun.

Boy, was I wrong. Coloretto, after that one playing and many more has shot up to be one of the top filler games Ive played, and one of my favorite games from 2003. For a game that offers so few choices, it has great promise and is extremely fun! The only problem I had with the game was the horrible card backs, but the fronts were gorgeous and handled the color-blindness problem splendidly.

Coloretto is simply composed of a deck of cards. This deck is composed of seven sets of colored cards nine of each color (blue, pink, orange, yellow, green, brown, and gray). There are also three wild cards and ten light blue cards that have +2 on them. Each player takes a card of one color and places it in front of them, along with a point summary card. The remainder of the cards are shuffled, with a last round card inserted fifteen cards from the bottom. One row card for each player is placed in a row on the table, a player is chosen to go first, and the first round begins.

On a turn, a player can do one of two things. For one thing, they can draw the top card from the deck, and place it with any row card on the table (as long as that row card has less then three cards already with it.) Or, they can take all the cards from one row card on the table, placing them in front of them. The next player to the right then goes, etc., etc. Once a player takes a stack of cards, they are out of that round and must wait until all players have taken a stack of cards. If every row card has three cards associated with them, then the player has no choice but to take a set of cards. After all players have taken cards, the round ends; and another begins. When the last round card is revealed, players play until the end of that round, and scoring occurs.

Each player scores points for every color they have collected, depending on how many cards of that color they got. For example, one card of blue is worth one point, but 6 cards of blue (the max) are worth 21 points! The catch is that only three colors count for positive points. If a player has more than three colors (which is almost inevitable), they must pick which three they want to count towards their total in a positive way, and the rest to detract points from their total. The +2 cards give two points to a player and are added to the total after the other points are computed. The player with the most points wins the game!

Some comments on the game

1.) Components: The cards are of fantastic quality, something Ive grown accustomed to from Abacus Spiele. Each card has a picture of a chameleon on it, with a background of a different color, and different texture (for color blind). The row cards, last round card, and summary cards are all a bland tan, contrasting sharply with the very colorful cards. This means I love the cards, right? Well, the faces yes. BUT, the backs of the cards are a generic back that simply says Abacusspiele that they use for other games, such as Mamma Mia. This is simply poor taste, bad design, and frankly quite disappointing. I dont care if the company thinks it will save them money they shouldnt cut corners like this I want nice backs of cards! Also, included with the game was a bunch of blank cards for a game called Knatsch. Well, that may be a nice touch, but a bad marketing move on their part I dont want to be forced to buy an expansion for a game I dont own. Still, even with these annoyances I do like the cards, as long as we keep them face-up on the table.

2.) Rules: The rules are extremely easy and really dont entail much more than Ive written above. The format (mixed with two other languages), really isnt that great, and I had to look a few times to figure out where the English rules were. However, since they were so simplistic, I only had to read them once. The game is a breeze to teach, and I have found NO one who hasnt picked up on it after one round child or adult.

3.) Strategy: This game gives the player, at maximum, 6 choices per round. He first decides whether to take a row of cards or place a card. If placing, he then decides which row to place the card in. All in all, this really doesnt present much analysis paralysis, and the game moves at an incredibly quick pace sometimes finishing in only ten minutes. However, the choice of taking cards or placing a card can sometimes be hair pulling. A row may only have one card but you want that card! Should you take it, or stay in the round hoping for a better card to be placed on it? This isnt a decision that takes more than ten seconds, but it can be an agonizing ten seconds.

4.) Valentines: Just a quick note here. People who cannot do harm to one another should stay away from this game. If one person puts cards down that HELP another person, instead of hindering them, they can really throw off the game for everyone else. Its a kindly cutthroat game, but its still cutthroat; and if you cant handle that stay away youll annoy the other players.

5.) Fun Factor: When I read the rules, I wasnt that impressed. But upon playing, I found that not only I had fun, but everyone I taught the game to did also. I have yet to see anyone dislike this game. Its not always asked for; but when I suggest it, it is heartily welcomed. Luck plays a decent factor in this game but knowing when to take cards, and when to hold is probably the greatest source of fun in the game.

I highly recommend this game. Despite my problems with the card backs, I think the production is excellent. I love games that take 1 minute to explain, 1 minute to set up, and 1 minute for people to catch onto the strategy. Then, only taking an average of twenty minutes to play how can you go wrong? This is one of my favorite fillers, and I think will see play at our table for many years to come.

Tom Vasel

by Paz
This Is The One to Introduce To Non-Gamers
November 03, 2003

Had a few non-gamers over last night and hadn't broken the seal on my new copy of Coloretto yet. Based on the previous reviews, thought this would be a good choice. It was. The directions take about a minute to learn, and two minutes to explain. Then you're off! Great game to get non-gamers involved, as there is a perfect balance of luck and skill, so everyone has a chance to win, even on their first time out. The artwork is very cool, as well. This one is a winner.

Masterful and Minimal
September 14, 2003

A quickly grasped card game which swiftly suggests different strategies. While not rocket science, Coloretto excels at giving the fullest experience in the briefest time possible. And it does so wonderful! The game design while aesthetically pleasing is spare. With a game as clearly expressed as this, you won't care. This is a card game with broad appeal. The first night it came to our Sunday gaming table, we played it four times! A great item surely headed for classic status. A great bargain considering how much play this brief but great item will get.

by Kane
Good old fashioned chameleon fun
September 09, 2003

Great game. Can be learned in a couple of minutes. Lots of fun. Great lightweight game.

My only problem with it is the look of the back of the cards. The card faces look great with very nice colorful artwork, but the backs of the cards are just white with the companies logo printed on them. Very unattractive.

Anyway, great game, highly recommended. 5 stars.

A great, quick card game for all ages!
August 18, 2003

My wife likes playing very view card games, and this is one of the few she really likes (along with Mille Bornes). We recently taught it to friends and their bright 7-year old son, and all had a blast. I like to play it at wargame conventions as a respite between the far more demanding games.

I disagree with the comment that the Chamelons are irrelevant--as a player, you're constantly having to change your maximum of 3 positive scoring colors!

by Randy
This is a great family game that rivals Rage.
July 12, 2003

It's rare that I can find a strategy card game light enough to engage my mother-in-law. (She hates games in general.) However, as she watched us play with the colorful cards that had no numbers on them (a plus in her book) and the cute little chameleons she decided to jump in. The previous reviewer gave an excellent run-down of the game's mechanics so I won't bother with another recap.

The strong points of Coloretto are:

-it's excellent family fun

-it works well with 3, 4, and 5 players (best with 4)

-lasts about 30-45 minutes

-can be taught in 2 minutes or less

-good balance of luck and skill for a family game (like Rage)

-good replay value

-it's cheap

-and it's fun!

After the first game ended my mother-in-law was the first one to say 'lets play again'.

Lights, Colors, Action!
May 27, 2003

Every once in a while a small, unpretentious game will get published that seems underwhelming at first glance but ends up being a true favorite with wide appeal. I, for one, have a hard time finding short (less than 30 minutes) games that I enjoy playing. (I do enjoy a game called For Sale, but it out of print and therefore nearly pointless to recommend since the vast majority of people can't acquire a copy for themselves.) Any game that is short is necessarily not too complicated, and most of the time I feel that the decisions are uninteresting. Thankfully, there are a few exceptions, and Coloretto is the leader of the pack.

The gameplay is very simple. Goal: Get as many cards as you can in 3 colors only. If you get more than 3 colors, all additional colors count against you. There are also '+2 pts' cards that are do not count for or against any color, and (rare) wildcards that can be added to any colors the player wishes at the end of the game. Your first card in a color is worth 1 point (for or against), the second card is worth 2 points., etc., up to 21 points (the value of 6 cards) maximum. (The publishers sensibly included a reference card so that you won't have to keep calculating all your cards individually.)

So how do you get the cards? On the table, you set out as many Row cards as there are players. Now, one at a time, a player may do one of two things: Take the top card from the deck and add it to any row of his choosing (up to a maximum of 3 cards per row), OR, Take a row (which must have at least 1 card and cannot have more than 3 cards.) Once a player takes a row, he is out of the round until everyone has a row. At that point, players return the row cards to the center of the table, and play continues in the same way. The game ends on the round where the 'arrow' card is drawn (which is seeded the 15th-to-last card in the deck.)

The artwork is simple, but bright colored, and I thought the cards that indicate rows (with their 3 blank canvases) kind of made for a neat setting. This game can be taught in about 60 seconds and only takes about 15 minutes to play all the way through. Certainly it is filler -- this game is quite light -- but there is nice player interaction, and the decision each turn, though simple, can be tough. This game has been a hit with every single person I've played it with, from an 8-year old girl all the way to adults. Simple, fast, fun, clever.

I give it 5 stars for what it is. Surpassing my previous favorite (the out-of-print For Sale), Coloretto is the best 'filler' game I have ever played. It plays well 3-5 players for nearly all ages and I know will end up being one of my most requested games. And since it was realeased in 2003, it will be easily available for some time yet. Enjoy!

Tough Choices in an Easy Game
May 06, 2003

I've played Coloretto a couple of times because it's one of the recent hits with my game group. Despite the odd (and almost irrelevant) theme of chameleons, the inter-personal dealings of this game make it quite enjoyable. The goal is pretty simple: everybody gets a row of 3 or fewer cards. However, only some are worth points to you. This leads to some great decisions. Do you help others, hoping that they will help you? Do you risk a big payday, knowing it might get stolen? Do you go for that one last card for big points or play it safe? Under the guise of a simple card game, this one really makes you think. In a good way. I definitely recommend trying it.

Other Resources for Coloretto:

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