A Tribal Games Review of Azul
Enter into the colourful world of Azul, where simplistic yet gorgeous art styles meet with strategy. During Azul, players will use multicoloured tiles to score points by creating patterns on their score cards.
The key elements of Azul are the artwork and the contrast of simple yet complex strategic play, the combination of which create a memorable experience for players. The gameplay lends itself towards a more experienced board game player, as the point system can quickly become confusing, however the simple gameplay means that replays lead towards strategy building rather than stagnation.
Azul distinguishes itself from other games of this genre by providing the players with multiple strategy options that are encouraged to be built upon and explored. The game also carries a variable gameplay length based on the amount of players which, when coupled with the strategic options, creates a highly replayable game.
How to Play:
The gameplay for Azul is focused on the drafting and placement of tiles based on the available factories. At the start of each round 4 tiles are randomly distributed to each factory. Each player then has an opportunity to select tiles from a factory based on their colour, these tiles will then be placed on the scorecard, matching the placement of other colours already on the scorecard.
Rounds continue in this fashion until any player creates the specified pattern, during which time scoring is completed and a winner is determined.
8 colourful tiles out of 10
- Replayability - 9/10
Due to the random placement of tiles during the start of each round, players will not be able to develop an entirely winning strategy, this prevents boring gameplay and supports a high level of replayability. Azul is also supported in its replayability when new players are introduced, as game length is heavily determined by the personality of players, i.e., players who prefer to score as many points as possible will create a longer play experience, whereas players aiming to get ahead then quickly win will create a shorter experience.
- Thematic - 5/10
The gameplay of Azul does not largely incorporate the theme that the game is based around, however the use of artwork on tiles, score cards, and factories creates an immersive experience for players. Gameplay with differences based on tile colours, or the introduction of characters would support the theme significantly more.
- Fun Times - 10/10
Any game that makes players sit and think for any amount of time tends to create a boring vibe, however Azul draws the attention of players so successfully that they forget others are even playing, until someone steals the tile they wanted. The gameplay supports a family setting, but can be enjoyed by groups of friends or even by people just getting to know each other.