A colorful tile-laying abstract game.
- Publisher: Plan B Games, 2017
- Players: 2 – 4
- Time: 30 – 45 min.
- Mechanics: Tile laying, pattern building
The theme of Azul is for players to use mosaic tiles to decorate the wall of the Royal Palace of Evora in Portugal. The game features great looking tiles, easy to play mechanics, and the once in awhile chance for a gotcha kind of moment.
On a players’ turn they will select a set of one color of tiles from one of the round discs from the central play area. Each of the discs were randomly populated with 4 tiles during setup. The object is to fill each of the five runs on their player board. The top row has space for one tile. Each row down adds another space with the fifth row having five spaces to fill. When taking tiles, a player must tall all tiles of one color from the chosen disc. When placing tiles on their board, only one color can be placed in a chosen row. Scoring takes place at the end of each round. Any completed row is scored by moving a tile to a scoring grid on their board. The key is to bring scoring tiles across so that they abut other scoring tiles. Tiles score based on how many tiles are adjacent both vertically and horizontally. The gotcha comes in when a player ends up with tiles that no longer fit or one on their rows. Every extra tile not placed in the row ends up at the bottom of their board racking up negative points. Sometime you can leave an opponent stuck with no option but to take tiles that they can’t place and end up as negative points.
Azul is easy to play and easy to teach. It works well at player counts from 2 to 4. It is a great looking game on the table with colorful tiles. Even though the mechanics are easy, the decisions can be challenging. Players need to pay attention to as to what tiles come out of the bag that populate the discs at the start of each round, and what tiles their opponents may be going after. Azul is a great game for both gamers and non-gamers. Anyone can play, but there is enough strategy to keep avid gamers in the game. The game could last as little as five rounds, but typically goes seven or eight because no one wants to end it early. The player who grouped those scoring tiles best will gain the most points and victory.
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