Azul - Board Game Box Shot

Azul

| Published: 2017
14 5

Azul was designed by the world famous, award winning game author Michael Kiesling. Azul captures the beautiful aesthetics of Moorish art in a contemporary board game. Players compete as artisans decorating the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. By carefully drafting the correct quantity and style of tiles, the most clever of artisans plan ahead to maximize the beauty of their work (not to mention their scores!) while ensuring they wasted no supplies in the process.

Introduced by the Moors, “azulejos” (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese, when their King Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles.

Azul is suited for 2 – 4 artisans, ages 8+. While the actual decoration of the Royal Palace of Evora took many years, we expect a game of Azul to last 30 – 40 minutes.

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8 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“Abstracts can be beautiful”

It doesn’t matter what the theme is meant to be for Azul – the rules of the game don’t reflect anything that is really happening. It is a beautiful abstract. I don’t just mean the pieces, the gameplay is beautiful, too.
In this game, players are taking tiles from little groups of tiles and adding them to their board in rows. The restriction is that all the tiles taken must be the same colour and all the tiles of that colour must be taken. When added to the player’s board, the tiles must be placed in a row and all the tiles in that row must be the same colour. The rows have 1 to 5 spaces – if there’s no room left then the player will be penalised for extra tiles. At the end of the round, all of the full rows will have one of the tiles taken off and added to the main ‘picture’ on the board, a 5×5 grid. Once someone completes a row in the that ‘picture’ then the game ends.
It’s these restrictions that make the game so enjoyably brutal. You can see what you need and so can your opponents. They can then make sure that the tiles you want aren’t available leaving you with unwanted tiles that will lose you points. As the round goes on the options become less until you find yourself painted into a corner. But it’s a great feeling because all the players are in the same position.
Since Azul plays quickly it never outstays its welcome. In fact, I have sometimes felt surprised that the game ended so quickly!
Go get it – it’s lovely and it’s brutal!

 

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