Decorate Your Wall With Old-School Patterns in That Old Wallpaper | Casual Game Revolution

Decorate Your Wall With Old-School Patterns in That Old Wallpaper

That Old Wallpaper

Can you remember that old wallpaper with the funny shapes and strange patterns? Draft cards and try to recreate it, making matches and pairs to score points.

Published by AEG and designed for 2-5 players, That Old Wallpaper is a card-drafting, pattern-building game with lots of player interaction to get in the way of your plans.


Each player has a deck of cards numbered 1-10. You shuffle your deck and draw five cards. The wallpaper deck is shuffled and one card is drawn for each wallpaper column. There are columns equal to the number of players. If a wallpaper card shows a red oval in its center, you draw an additional card for that column. The column closest to the draw deck is considered the low end, and the column farthest from the draw deck is considered the high end.

Every wallpaper card is divided into four sections, with each section showing half of a shape. Shapes come in four colors and either are big shapes (those that appear along the length of the card) or small shapes (those that appear along the width of the card). Some sections will also be wild and can act as a half of any shape.

Each turn, every player chooses one of their numbered cards to play, and all cards are revealed simultaneously. The cards are arranged in numerical order and placed in that order above the columns from low to high end. For example, the person who played the lowest numbered card places his card over the lowest end column, the player with the next lowest card places his card over the next column, and so on. You then take the wallpaper cards in your column and add them to your wall.

If two or more players played the same number, you place these cards over the columns corresponding to their place in numerical order. After everyone else has taken their cards, you check player tokens. These are placed in a line on the table, and the player whose token is nearest the top of the line gets to pick one of the columns the matching cards are placed over, and add those cards to his wall. He then moves his token to the back of the line. All other players who played a matching card with him, take one hazy memory card, which has only one shape on it but it is wild and can be paired with any one shape on your wall, but they do not get to collect any cards from a column.

When adding a card to your wall, it must be placed adjacent to another card already there. You can rotate the card, but all sides that it is placed adjacent to must be of matching length.

All number cards that were played that round are added to their respective players’ discard piles, and everyone draws a new card. When you need to draw a card and your draw pile is empty, you shuffle your discard pile to form a new draw deck and advance the round tracker. After three rounds, the game ends once you cannot draw a card. You may place any hazy memory cards you collected on your wall at this point and the game ends.

For each pair of little shapes and big shapes of the same color, you earn two points. There are also memento symbols that appear on some cards and which come in four different shapes. You earn points for the number of unique memento shapes that appear on your wall. The player with the most red ovals on his wall loses two points and the player with the fewest gains two points. Finally, the player whose token is currently at the front of the player token line earns an additional two points. Whoever has the most points wins.

That Old Wallpaper

That Old Wallpaper cards (photo provided by the publisher)


That Old Wallpaper is a clever mix of puzzle and player interaction. You’re trying to collect sets, figuring out the most efficient way to add cards to your wall to complete shapes, and trying to make pairs of shapes to score points — but you’re also dealing with other players when trying to pick which column to collect.

Maybe you want the middle column, but should you play a five, or maybe play a seven or eight if your opponents have played a lot of low-numbered cards already? You can accidentally end up with cards you don’t want if you don’t guess correctly with your number card, or you might not end up with anything but one wild shape if you accidentally end up playing the same number as an opponent.

This player interaction is what makes the game special and consequently, the more players you have, the better. It can be enjoyable with three, and you certainly feel like you have more control at that player count, but the chaos and unpredictability of more players is very enjoyable.

The component quality is excellent, with the wallpaper cards being particularly attractive and the wild sections a shiny gold that is very pretty. Your wall of wallpaper cards is very satisfying to build out.

For the most part, the game is easy to learn, although the scoring did take us a couple of reads to totally understand, as having to make pairs between the little and big patterns isn’t intuitive. It also doesn’t specify in the rules if wallpaper cards can be moved once added to your wall, which is a question that’s bound to crop up as you play.

There is minimal downtime, and since everyone is typically only adding 1-2 cards to their wall at a time, this part never takes too long. That Old Wallpaper nicely combines pattern building with a fun twist on card drafting, and the result is a satisfying, fast-playing game.

Pros: Component quality and aesthetics, player interaction

Cons: Rulebook could have used some clarification, scoring is not intuitive at first

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.