Lizard’s Tail

Once upon a time, there was a gecko named Steve, whose skin were the colors of the rainbow and more. There were many lizards like him gathering around the pool and basking under the sun, but none are as beautiful as he, or so he thought.

Sometimes these crawling reptiles like to play a game of Coloretto. They outflaunt other geckos with their three best color palettes, but beware of anything beyond three makes them twitch, twirl and tumble. The rhythmic thumps echo through the forest floor, for on that day, a game of Coloretto is about to start.


Each gecko takes turns grabbing a piece from the pile of colorful barks, leaves and fruits and places them on columns. If they like to perform a column, instead of grabbing a piece from the pile, they can choose a column to add to their collection.

Steve is up and ponders on the half filled columns and decides to grab something from the pile. He gets a purple grape and was delighted as it was his preferred color when the game started. He placed it in a column where another purple grape was placed. The gecko next to him quickly snatches the column and is out for the round. Steve groans in dismay as that was what he wanted.


Another turn Steve got a red cherry and placed it on another column with a purple grape. But alas, before it got back to his turn another fellow got to it first. Steve was forced to get the last column containing a brown bark, a green bamboo shoot and a yellow sunflower.

Since he was last to pick, he starts off the new round and puts yellow sunflower on the first column. Others took their turns and when it was back to Steve’s turn, he saw a column with a two yellow sunflower versus a column with two purple grapes and an orange. He snatched the two purple grapes and an orange, which saved him out for the round.

Round after round, Steve concentrated on the purple grapes, unintentionally tagging along blue skies, insects and whatnot. Soon enough the gun of the last round marker fell and it’s now time to review their respective collections.

Much to Steve’s horror, he has 9 purple grapes! Only a maximum of 6 per color is ever counted. There were two yellows and two greens, the rest were the colors of the rainbow. The reptiles took turns flaunting their colors, dancing and prancing about.

When it was Steve’s turn, he first showed a bright yellow glow then quickly turned into a green glow, and then finally turned into the brightest purple for the longest few moments and then he started twitching, twirling and tumbling for the rest of the colors of the rainbow. His color changed so many times his tail fell off! It eventually grew back, but strangely, its now permanently colored in black and white stripes. He no longer was the color changing gecko, but a black and white stripe-tailed Zebra lizard.


Steve learned that he needs to be flexible in the game of Coloretto. He also needs to observe what others are collecting not to put a combination too enticing for them to pass early on. More importantly, he needs to observe his own collection, as only a maximum of six per color is scored. Three of your best colors gives you points, the rest gives you negative points.

Coloretto is designed by Michael Schacht and has been around for more than a decade. It is an abstract game with very light in strategy and pleasing design. It provides interesting decisions every turn and everyone is in a race every single turn. Newer reprints of the game features more colorful artwork and not just a copy pasted gecko with transparency over a color swatch. It is an abstract family game that can be taught to kids all the way to grandparents. It is simple, elegant and has a cheap price point of under $14. Check it out and until next time have fun playing!

Written by: Ronald Villaver
Edited by: Reg Tolentino