Review: That Old Wallpaper

Review: That Old Wallpaper

Draft cards to recreate the pattern from your grandma’s wallpaper.

Designed by Danielle Deley, Nathan Thornton and published by Alderac Entertainment Group
👤  2-5 players
🧩  Pattern Building, Bidding
⚖️  Light


Remember that old wallpaper we used to have? in that one room? With the funky colors and those weird sunburst patterns?

Okay, good, because that’s what we’re doing. That Old Wallpaper is a game of drafting stacks of wallpaper cards and piecing them together to most closely re-create the patterns from your memories.

The player who matches the most shapes and colors collects the most unique mementos and puts together the highest-scoring section of wallpaper wins the game- and makes their grandma proud.

description from the publisher


The game is played over three rounds with six turns each. Players simultaneously pick a card from their hand and place it facedown each turn. After that, cards are revealed and put in order from lowest to highest beneath the columns of wallpaper cards. Players take the corresponding column of wallpaper cards and place them in their wallpaper in front of them, matching patterns big or small.

Players who played the same value bump each other based on the Perfect Recall order discs. The winner chooses one of the columns they bumped on, while the losers receive a Hazy Memory card. Hazy Memory Cards will be added to your wallpaper at the end of the game (a wildcard).

Afterward, players draw up to 5 cards, and the display of wallpaper cards is replenished. After six turns (until players can no longer replenish their hands), players shuffle all their cards to form a new deck, and the next round begins. After three rounds, the game ends, and the final scores are calculated.


At first glance, That Old Wallpaper looks like a simple card game where you're trying to build a pattern of wallpaper cards. This is primarily correct, but while playing, you'll find that it still offers some interesting twists and decisions to make something special.

The most exciting part for me is the bidding part of the game. Reading your opponents, playing the correct card, and getting the column of wallpaper cards you wanted feels very satisfying. While getting the wrong column could invoke some strong emotions toward yourself and your opponents. This bidding adds an interactive element to the pattern building I've enjoyed.

The wallpaper cards have colorful art, and the cards are of good quality. Some elements on the cards (like wild patterns) have a beautiful glossy finish that gives it a unique table presentation.

The game plays quickly and works well with all player counts. There is a special two-player variant where you also play versus grandma, that participates in the bidding. This variant works very well and the added upkeep is minimal; we liked this variant.

We did find the scoring complex for this light game, but it does add to the decisions in the game. That Old Wallpaper does not introduce that much innovation but mixes existing mechanics into a new package. It's a good filler game that is perfect to close game night or play while drinking your morning coffee.

Ps. I've never seen wallpaper as portrayed by That Old Wallpaper.

👍 Bidding mechanic interaction
👍 Glossy finish on some cards looks beautiful
👍 Quick and satisfying gameplay
👍 Two player variant works well

➖ Scoring is pretty complex for a light game
➖ Not that innovative

That Old Wallpaper

That Old Wallpaper is a light card game of bidding and pattern building. It plays well on all player counts, looks beautiful, and has quick and satisfying gameplay. While it doesn't bring much innovation, it does mix existing mechanics into a fresh, and small package.

View on Boardgamegeek
This game has been kindly gifted to me for review purposes by the Alderac Entertainment Group. Read more on my review policy here: Review Policy


Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at Azul or Cascadia