Review: That Old Wallpaper (AEG) – English

Do you remember that old wallpaper in your (great) (grand) parents’ house? With all those funky colours? I can’t necessarily remember if my ancestors had wallpaper at all, let alone in different colours, but in That Old Wallpaper by AEG, players are going to reminisce about this old wallpaper. Players will save and match colours and patterns. Can you manage to scrap some fun wallpaper together and score the most points in the process?

Setup and goal

At the beginning of That Old Wallpaper, players shuffle a large pile of cards with scraps of wallpaper. With these cards, a central draw pile is made and as many columns of cards are turned open as there are players. In principle, each column contains only a single card, but sometimes more cards are added to a column during the game. Each player gets a personal draw pile containing cards with numbers in different, ascending values. Also, cards with hazy memories are placed there. These are jokers that you can earn during the game and add to your wallpaper at the end of a game to complete patterns.

Players draw cards from their personal draw pile to form their starting hand and start the first round. Each turn, players start trying to collect multiple pieces of wallpaper to add to their wall and complete patterns. Each piece of wallpaper contains four possible pieces of large and small patterns. Some cards contain purple symbols. At the end of the game, you get points for each pair (small and large) of completed patterns in the same colour. Players also get points if they have collected different types of symbols.


Each turn, all players simultaneously choose a card from their hand in the hope of taking a column of cards. Which column you may take depends on the value of the card played. The player with the highest value may take the top column, the player with the lowest card may take the lowest column and all other players everything in between.

It can occur that players play an equal value and have to compete for the same columns. These columns are blocked and the player highest in priority (indicated by wooden tokens) wins and may choose a column from the blocked columns. The ‘losing’ player gets a hazy memory. After such a battle for a piece of old wallpaper has taken place, priorities are swapped for the next turn(s).

Acquired cards (except hazy memories) are added by players to their wall. Players draw new hand cards and continue playing. If players cannot draw hand cards, all players’ discarded hand cards are shuffled and new personal draw piles are formed and then a new round begins. Columns are replenished. Sometimes not all cards/columns are taken by players, due to a clash and thus columns containing multiple cards are slowly formed. After three rounds, the scoring follows.


That Old Wallpaper is a simple set collector where it is an interesting puzzle to place the patterns correctly and optimally. However, placing correctly did not feel extremely difficult to do, which made it easy to always place patterns correctly. The trick is mainly in optimising the sets. The method of collecting cards is innovative, but because players play cards blind, it sometimes feels a bit random and, as a result, it sometimes feels like the game is playing itself. However, the game does not take too long and is refreshing for inexperienced players.