An abstract strategy Tile drafting game, Azul sees 2-4 players making beautiful mosaics for the Portuguese king. Draft different coloured tiles from factory boards to your player board, then place them to score points based on where they are placed in correlation to other tiles. Laid alone you’ll score one point, but you’ll score additional points for each other tile orthogonal to the one just placed.
It sounds simple and it is with regards to learning, teaching and playing, but there’s a lot of great strategy to be had with Azul. On taking tiles, you need to take all tiles of a single colour from the factory or factory floor. Take tiles to fill your own wall, or to stop other players finishing theirs.
A beautifully made title, I tip Azul to be on the short list for Spiel this year, if not the winner. The gameplay mechanism is simple enough to teach to even non gamers, with enough strategy for those of us more seasoned players. If you love abstract games you’ll love Azul, not a fan of abstracts, still give it a look, it’s well produced and lovely to play.