That Old Wallpaper Impressions
You might have noticed by this point that we don’t post review scores on our board game impressions / reviews. I do this for a specific reason – just because I don’t like a game, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t like it. To that end, I don’t want a decent game that I personally didn’t enjoy, to get a bad grade just because I didn’t like it.
I bring this up because That Old Wallpaper is one of the few games that I really didn’t enjoy personally, but I understand the audience it is attempting to attract. While my impressions of the game may come off as a bit negative, I’ll do my best to outline how the game works so you can make the best purchasing decision for yourself.
In That Old Wallpaper, players will be using point cards in their hand to get and place cards laid out on the table. The cards will have different shapes on them that will match up with other cards when laid, creating that ugly wallpaper effect.
To that end, the game name and theming is actually really good, and by the time the game was over, I understood why this was a game about wallpaper. Thankfully, the mechanics here are not overly complex, which makes this a great point-earning gateway game (even easier than Point Salad, in my opinion).
The game is played across 18 turns, and you will be trying to earn the most points. Each player will get a score pad for counting up points, and the game begins. Players will earn points in various ways, but most of those opportunities revolve around creating patterns.
There is light strategy in how you use the numbered cards in your hand to purchase the cards on the table. There will be a number of cards on the table equal to the number of players. Whoever play the highest numbered card gets the card to the far right, the lowest numbered card gets the card to the far left, and then other players battle for the leftover cards. It should be noted that ONE player will not get a face up card, but instead gets a hazy card from a separate deck that, while good, is generally not as beneficial as getting a face-up card.
Players will use the cards they have won to build out their tableau in front of them, of course trying to match up patterns and earn points. Careful consideration needs to be taken into consideration when bidding on specific cards, as you will want certain shape combinations in your wallpaper to maximize points.
The strategy here is pretty minimal in my opinion, but it does exist and would be good for players just getting into the tableau building genre of games. What I didn’t like about the experience was the randomness of the wallpaper cards.
I might have a great grid in front of me that requires one of a few specific cards, and those might not flop for a turn, or even multiple turns. You could, of course, attempt to NOT pick a card in any given turn, but that ultimately comes down to a bit of luck, depending on what numbered cards others use.
For me, there is just a bit too much luck in this game to make it something I want to play again and again, but I do see the value here and why some folks might really enjoy this. While not for me, other that I played this with at the table enjoyed their time with the game. Although this isn’t for me specifically, it could be for you!