19 January 2019

Azul 2018 Board Game of The Year

We love games. We buy a lot of board games and card games. Each summer, we introduce new ones to my dad and spend the summer competing and strategizing.  Some games fizzle out by the end of the summer and get thrown into a basket to be rediscovered years later.  Others get so well used that we have to repurchase them because the cards or game pieces become worn to the point of influencing game play.

So, when I opened an email from my mom saying that Azul was the 2018 “Game of The Year”, I was intrigued.  The cover art was beautiful, so I was immediately impressed.  Then, I learned it was a tile-laying game influenced by the exquisite tile work at the Alhambra Palace in Southern Spain. This was even more exciting given that I have family in Spain and have visited Alhambra in person. With the underlying art-factor of the game and the Spanish connection, I knew I had to buy the game.  We bought it on Amazon and had it delivered in two days using their Prime Delivery service!


My first impression: The game is very-well constructed.  Equipped with nice sturdy game boards for 2-4 players and 100 beautiful plastic tiles.  The tiles are well-designed as well.  The game is a little pricey at a cost around $30, but the quality of the pieces should allow this game to withstand several years of game play.  It also comes with a printed fabric drawstring bag for holding the tiles.  The game is aesthetically pleasing while also allowing for strategizing and repeated play.  

The directions aren’t difficult to learn and are presented with easy to follow rules and a couple examples of game play.  Keeping track of the scoring is easy with the scoreboard and scorekeeping game pieces. There is a large honesty factor in the scoring of the game, so make sure you play with friends that you trust to keep honest scores. Also, part of the game is played in a round individually, while another phase of the game is played by all players simultaneously.  During this phase, honestly and integrity is also assumed to be present with those playing! 

Take a look at the game and see if you think your family will also enjoy it.  It was a perfect fit for our family game night!

More information:
The game was designed by Michael Kiesling. The description in the rule book states “Introduced by the Moors, “azulejos” (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. 

Azul brings you, a tile-laying artist, to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. 

The game is recommended for players age 8 or older. 2-4 Players. It takes between 25-45 minutes to play a complete game. 

Disclosure: I participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to products that I endorse. In most cases, these are items that I created, or have purchased for use in a product.

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