The setting is Renaissance Italy, and the social fabric is torn. Italy is in upheaval as there is no proper government, the nobles have fallen, and there is utter chaos. The traders try to gain power using their money by hiring talented people to do their work for them. Patronise only the best of sculptors, painters, composers, and writers in this game. Who knows, you might end up owning the next Michelangelo!
Patronize is a trick-taking game but you need to strategise the cards you play. There are a total of 29 cards, with each card containing a rank, a special ability, and a suit symbol. The game also comes with achievement cubes. The personality cards are slightly different from each other, giving the players a chance to think before playing. The game suits well for 3 to 5 people and the rules are quite simple to understand and follow. The goal of each player is to win fame cards and win points that come from the play and the cards. The player with the highest points wins the game.
Designed by Hisahi Hayashi, who has come up with delightful concepts before as well, the game was first published in 2013 by Alderac Entertainment Group. The illustrations by Ryo Namo are pretty good and clear cut. The game has achieved some popularity because of its interesting theme, quick gameplay, and nice illustrations.
The gameplay is very fast and a game can be over within 30 minutes. As such, Patronize is a great game that works well for many occasions. Though it works well as a filler game, it would also be interesting to play the game several times in a row and try to follow different strategies each time.
If you have always wanted to learn more about Renaissance Italy, here’s your chance to jump right in!