|Playing time||~30 minutes|
Players begin a game of Patchwork with five buttons, and take turns moving around a time-track board, about which are dispersed polyomino tiles representing fabric. During their turn, they may choose one of three available tiles available along the path, which determines the distance travelled on the central board and the choices available to the next player. To obtain the tile, the player must ensure it will fit on their individual grid board, and pay the associated cost in buttons. Acquired tiles become the basis of a quilt assembled on the player's individual grid board. A tile added to the player's board grants the player to move a certain number of spaces along the time-track board. The player who trails along the path on the time-track board takes the subsequent turn, or may opt to pass to move ahead on the central board, for which they collect a button for each space they were trailing the other player.
A tile assembled into the quilt earns that player a certain number of buttons. Players move their time marker until it reaches the centre of the time-track board, at which point their game is finished. The player that obtains the greatest number of buttons at the end of the game is declared the winner, but empty spaces in the assembled quilt deduct two buttons each from the player's score. A bonus tile may contribute an additional seven points to the player possessing it.
Patchwork received an Official Recommendation at the 2015 Spiel des Jahres. David McMillan, in a review for board game news website Meeple Mountain, states that the game is one of Rosenberg's "finest achievements".
In a board games review by Wirecutter, Patchwork was described as being "similar to Tetris but with a sewing theme" and a "surprisingly complex challenge". McMillan states that the game is deceptively "peaceful and harmonious" on first inspection, but once the game is in progress it becomes evident that the game is "devious and cutthroat". He also states that beginners may finish their first few games with negative scores. More experienced players may play by "trying to make it impossible for [their] opponent to fill" their quilt.
An Ars Technica review described it as easy to learn, quick to play, and "filled with a surprising amount of tactics and strategy". In a review for the Games and Gaming Round Table of the American Library Association, Thomas Vose stated that Patchwork is an "incredibly satisfying, and low-key game". Vose noted that the game's numerous pieces may be a difficulty for libraries hoping to lend it in circulation, but also stated that the game is a "very polished package", with an elegant albeit simple design, and recommended it for library collections.
- McMillan, David (2 October 2020). "Ave Uwe: Patchwork Game Review". Meeple Mountain. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
- Zimmerman, Aaron; Anderson, Nate; Mendelsohn, Tom (8 December 2017). "Ars Technica's ultimate board game buyer's guide". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
- Perling, Anna; Austin, James (9 December 2019). "The best beginner board games for adults". Wirecutter. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
- Vose, Thomas (7 December 2020). "Game Review: Patchwork". Games and Gaming Round Table, American Library Association. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.