Azul has been the talk of the town for a little while now, with plenty of convention activity in the States especially with the Giant Azul copies that we see plenty of photos of. So it was time for me to get a copy and see what all the fuss is about. I picked my copy up from the great guys at Games Empire, who got me a copy interstate in a matter of days. If you are looking for board games in Australia at good prices I would highly recommend the folks at Games Empire to get you what you need.
In the box comes 100 resin tiles, a bag for keeping them and the game mats. The tiles are particularly great and it is such a tactile experience to run your hands through them, thinking about the possibilities of tiling that wall. The game mats are made from sturdy cardboard, and while not meeting the standard of the tiles, they serve the purpose for what they need to do.
So, what is so good about the game that seems to be making it the runaway success of the year? I have to say it’s in it’s simplicity. Azul is a game that you can be into within 5 minutes of reading the rules, and everyone else will be there with you as well from the kids all the way to the adults. Something that I find appealing about some games is the fact that they can be easily played with younger or inexperienced players as a quick, fun game and then transitions to deeper strategy as you play with more experienced players. This is something that Azul does well, you can play the ‘First to 5’ row and be finished in 5 rounds when playing with kids, or you can build your strategy and go for the longer, higher scoring game.
Scoring is relatively simple and done cumulatively, so you always know where you are up to in comparison with the other players. From my experience the game plays just as well when played with 2 players as it does with 4, but 4 is definitely more competitive with more people vying for the same tiles it is a lot easier to start to cut people off from their scoring strategy .
From playing Azul a good 15 times, I can say that it’s simple concept doesn’t wear off easily and it definitely, for me, lives up to the hype that has come with it.
What are your thoughts on Azul, does it deserve the accolades that it has been getting?