“Azul” is a strategic tile-placement board game designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Plan B Games. It is set in Portugal during the 16th century, where players compete as tile artisans tasked with decorating the walls of the royal palace of Evora.
In “Azul,” players take turns selecting and placing colorful tiles onto their individual player boards. The tiles are represented by small, beautifully crafted resin pieces that resemble ornate ceramic tiles. The goal is to create patterns and complete sets of tiles to score points.
The game revolves around a drafting mechanism where players choose tiles from a central supply, representing various patterns and colors. Players must carefully select tiles and plan their placements to optimize their scoring opportunities. However, any unused tiles at the end of each round result in penalties, adding a strategic element to tile selection.
As players place tiles on their boards, they earn points based on specific patterns and completing sets. Bonus points can be earned for completing rows, columns, or specific arrangements of tiles. The game also incorporates a scoring mechanism for the central “floor” area where excess tiles are placed, adding another layer of decision-making.
“Azul” is known for its elegant and intuitive gameplay, beautiful components, and strategic depth. It strikes a balance between accessible gameplay for casual gamers and engaging strategic choices for more experienced players. The game has won numerous awards and has become widely popular since its release.
The success of “Azul” has also led to the creation of sequels and variations, including “Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra” and “Azul: Summer Pavilion,” which introduce new gameplay elements and twists while maintaining the core mechanics of the original game.
Overall, “Azul” is a highly regarded tile-placement game that offers a mix of strategic decision-making, visual appeal, and competitive gameplay, making it a favorite among board game enthusiasts.