Coloretto, like many traditional card games, revolves around set collection. Here, two to five players are each attempting to gather chameleons of varying, vivid colours. The more, say, blue chameleons you’ve collected come the end of the game, the more points you’ll earn.
On your turn, you either flip over the top card and add it to a row (there are as many rows as there are players, and each row can hold up to three cards each). Or, you claim an entire row of cards for yourself, upon which your participation in the round is over, until all players have claimed one row each.
There are two superb twists in Coloretto. First: all of your collected cards sit face-up in front of you, so what you’re collecting is public knowledge. And second: despite there being seven different colours of camouflage-loving lizards available, you’re only allowed to score three different types. Any additional sets that you’ve inadvertently acquired will be added up as negative points against your score come the end.
This leads to superb player interaction. When the top card is flipped, the active player scans the table for who might be collecting that colour. Then, wearing a sly grin, they’ll place it in a row alongside colours that’s the most inconvenient for everyone else. This could, of course, come back around to bite them in the backside, because there is an element of push-your-luck here, too. They themselves might be forced to pick up that unattractive row of cards, if everyone else opts to claim the other rows, first.
Coloretto was designed by Michael Schacht, and this was the start of his -etto series of games. Zooloretto, Aquaretto and Zooloretto: The Dice Game are all variants of the mechanisms on show in Coloretto (placing animals into communal sets and then picking which group to claim). Coloretto summarises this technique at its purest – it’s
the easiest to explain; you’ll be up and playing within two to three minutes of taking it out of the box.
A game of Coloretto lasts for about 15-20 minutes, fitting into that magical ‘let’s play that again’ category. There are two different ways to score for variety, both of which forces players to adapt their strategies. Does it reward the cautious, or the gambler within? Only you can make that judgement call…
Player Count: 2-5
Time: 15-20 Minutes