Tapestry is, at its heart, a civilisation building game. It is also quite a "Marmite" game, people either love it or hate it! Personally i fall into the first category, and have thoroughly enjoyed the games of it that i have played.
As is to be expected with Stonemaier Games' games, it is beautifully presented, well laid out, and visually stunning! The playing pieces being molded plastic buildings of various types that each player has on their own player board, and "builds" onto their own city board.
Each player starts the game as a different civilisation, which have since being published have undergone a revamp in the civilisation adjustment guide (for balancing), and they all have different abilities that can affect gameplay for them. This is done first in every turn, using this ability is not mandatory, although is more often not useful.
As you play through Tapestry you will find there is more and more you want to do, but never enough resources to acheive it all, balance is key! There are four tracks around the outside of the main board, each representing a different area of advancement within the game. So far, in the games i have played, trying to focus on more than two tracks spreads you too thin, not really allowing to maximise the benefits from moving further along the track.
As you advance along a track, the cost to advance gets higher, and the benefits become greater, and you are getting ever closer to the mid track goals of adding landmarks to your city. The pre-painted landmark buildings are pretty, but actually give you no in game bonus other than filling up extra space on your city board, and therefore adding a few victory points to your score.
Another key area of the board is the map in the middle, you add tiles to grow the map as you further yourself along the Exploration track, this in turn allows you to conquer tiles and is another means of scoring, also being able to conquer opponents tiles is a way of slowing their progress along the VP track. When laying new land tiles, you will score more if you can match up at least two tile edges with existing land (forrest to forrest etc.) also there is a benefit (on the tile) for playing it, which is often a resource or new Tapestry card (cards that seem quite situational, but give additional options and benefits to a player).
My only real bugbear with Tapestry, is way the game ends, each player will end at different times, and this can lead to one or more players being "out" for a period of time. Each turn you have the choice to advance (take a turn moving along an advancement track, paying the cost and gaining the benefit, or collect income, which is where the civilisation cards and tapestry cards are played, as well as upgrading technology cards you may have gained and collect the income from the state of your individual player board. Each player has FIVE income turns before the end of their game, once you take your fifth, you are out and the other players continue on without you.
Overall i really enjoy Tapestry, but you definately need to use the Civilisation adjustments found in the link above, on Stonemaiers site, as without them you can find yourself at a severe (dis)advantage.