Embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora with beautiful tiles in Azul!
In Azul, players are tile-laying artists in the service of the Portuguese King Manuel I. Introduced by the Moors, azulejos were white and blue ceramic tiles featured in the Alhambra palace in Spain. Awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra during a visit, the King ordered that similar decorative tiles be used to decorate the walls of his own royal palace.
While abstract in theme, the game excels in its simplicity and elegance. Players take turns collecting sets of colored tiles from a shared pool of factories, which they place into player boards that represent walls in the palace. At the end of each round, players then score points depending on how they have placed their tiles. Gameplay is snappy and satisfyingly explosive towards the end of the game, when players manage to complete specific patterns and sets to score big points.
As the game usually ends within 5 rounds, players have to be strategic about the sequence in which they draft and complete their sets of tiles. The aim is to be as efficient as possible, claiming the most number of tiles while avoiding any overspills, since wasted supplies harm the player’s score.
Veteran gamers will appreciate the high amount of control players are given in Azul. Even with the randomisation of tiles on each factory tile leading to potentially bad draws, it is completely possible to do well in the game with proper planning. The randomisation adds to the replay value instead.
In addition, Azul is a newbie-friendly game that is easy to learn, play and teach. It is a game that anyone can enjoy and I cannot recommend Azul enough.
If you would like to learn how to play the game, watch this short video by 3 Minute Board Games.
And if you prefer watching a full playthrough, I recommend this one by JonGetsGames!
Love Azul? You will definitely enjoy Splendor too! Check out our first impressions here!