If you want something different than your typical time management – hidden object – match 3 game, than maybe you should take up quilting…in a game, of course. Quilting Time is an original pattern-finding puzzler by Jenkat, where you get to help the enthusiastic Grandma Giddywinks make lots and lots of patchwork quilts. That’s assuming you can keep up with the pace!  

If you’ve ever taken an IQ test, the game play will probably be familiar to you. It’s very similar to the block design part of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. There are four different game play modes, with adjustable difficulty levels, but the core mechanics stay the same.

To start playing in quilt mode, you need to make a nine block quilt. Drag pieces from the side of the screen onto empty spots on the quilt. If you can place a highlighted piece in your quilt, you earn extra points. Some pieces are already in place. You need to match both the piece shape and fabric of the remaining pieces in order to create a pattern. Every quilt has it’s own special pattern, which varies in complexity. It may be a simple mirror image pattern, with each side mirroring the other, or it may be a complex “mirror flip” pattern, where the pieces are both flipped as they would be in a mirror, but also inverted. It might also include a geometric shape, like a pinwheel or star. Your goal is to try and discover this pattern before time runs out.  

The fabric pieces and shapes are cued up, so you need to place pieces in order from front to back. You can see how many pieces are remaining by looking at the numbers next to each spot. The piece shapes become more complex as you advance, involving jigsaw-like arrangements. It starts to feel a bit like tetris.

The first game play mode is called quilt, and it allows you to select the difficulty level and play in untimed mode. Later game play modes rely on strict penalties and tight time limits, where you race against the clock to discover the patterns.

If you’re handy with patterns, it’s a real brain teaser. However, it can require a bit of trial and error in some instances. The beginning of almost every puzzle has some luck component. It’s a bit like playing minesweeper, where you have to make an educated guess based off of the information you know, which is limited to start, but eventually you can deduce where things should fit. If the puzzle doesn’t immediately stand out for you, you may also randomly place pieces, only to be told it is the wrong fabric or shape for that spot. Wrong placement results in a penalty. Eventually, you will stumble onto the hint of a design, and from there it’s easy to create the pattern. You also get to know many of the patterns as you advance, making it easier to speculate on what goes where.  

If you don’t like to think too much while you play, this type of puzzler may not appeal to you. The visuals are very simple, and there’s no music or special effects. The sound effects are sparse, and mostly involve the praise or reproach of Grandma Giddywinks. However, if you like brainteasers, and want to be challenged, this can be a great deal of fun. Play a few rounds before making your decision, since it becomes more engaging as you move along and learn the ropes.  

You can’t save if you’re midway through a section. Each game itself is fairly short, so this isn’t too much of a problem, but it means you must sit and play for a full session in order to unlock the next level.  

What was most frustrating to me was the general difficulty advancing. The time clock put a lot of extra pressure into the game. You can play in relaxed more for the first section, but not for the speed sections. At times, it was nearly impossible to unlock the next game play mode.  

Despite some hiccups, I did like playing Quilting Time, even while struggling to advance through the game play modes. It’s challenging, upbeat, and original. If you like old-school style puzzle games, this is worth checking out. That said, it is a very simple game without too many extra bells and whistles, so the one-hour trial pretty much shows you all there is to see.