I’m part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club and last year I was gifted ‘Azul‘ the board game in exchange for an honest review. In case you’re not aware, Asmodee UK is an established distributor of games, collectables and toys – both domestically and across Europe. I owe a big apology to Asmodee because this review was due to be published at the end of December 2019 but since New Year I have been under the weather and didn’t get round to doing the review until today. Thanks for your patience and understanding Asmodee and Playtime PR. ❤️
Back in May 2019, when the opportunity first came about to be part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club (organised by Playtime PR) I jumped at the chance to try out some of their games! I was given the opportunity to select board games from a huge list they supplied me with and then fingers crossed I would get my choices sent out to review. Guess what, I did! So far I have received ‘Hey, That’s My Fish!‘ (Click here to read the review) , Ticket to Ride – Europe (Click here to read the review) , Jungle Speed (Click here to read the review), Dice Academy (click here to read my review), ‘SET‘ game (Click here to read the review), ‘Just One‘ (Click here to read the review), ‘Ticket to Ride London‘ (Click here to read the review), Maki Stack (Click here to read the review) and ‘Azul’.
As a keen board game lover I adore being part of Asmodee UK’s Blogger Board Game Club as it means we are gifted loads of great games to try out. My 10 year old daughter and I both love playing games so this collaboration with Asmodee is perfect for us!
For today’s review I am writing about a game called ‘Azul‘ which is published by Next Move Games.
Here is the description of Azul from the Plan B website (Next Move is a division of Plan B games) >>
‘Designed by the world famous, award winning game author Michael Kiesling, Azul evokes the beautiful aesthetics of Moorish art in a contemporary board game. Players compete as artisans decorating the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. By carefully drafting the correct quantity and style of tiles, the most clever of artisans plan ahead to maximize the beauty of their work (not to mention their scores!) while ensuring they wasted no supplies in the process.
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.’
You can read an interview with Michael Kiesling about the creation of ‘Azul’ by going to this link >> DIALOGUE WITH A DESIGNER, MICHAEL KIESLING – AZUL
When Asmodee UK let me select games to review I am given a big list to choose from and then I set about doing some research on which ones I fancy trying. Azul was on my list because I had kept seeing the name pop up when I was researching games to try out. The reason for that is because it is rather popular with board gamers and because of that it has won many awards. It was the 2018 Spiel des Jahres Winner, a 2018 Mensa Select Winner, 2019 UK Games Expo Best Abstract Game People’s Choice Winner and also it was the 2019 UK Games Expo Best Abstract Game Judges Award Winner. Very popular!
Azul is available to buy from various retailers – both online and in store. At the time of writing this review the game is out of stock nearly everywhere I have searched – – – however it does appear that Somerset based family business ‘All Good Meeple‘ has 2 copies in stock on their site. They are selling Azul for £37.95. Click here to order >> www.allgoodmeeple.co.uk/product/azul
The basic instructions for the game sound quite easy but if it is your first time playing an abstract game like this then it does still take a bit of time to get your head round how to play the game. I know I should find the rule book the easiest way to learn how to play these games (and there’s a lovely rule book with this game) but instead I find it much easier to watch other people playing the games on YouTube and then listening to them tell me how to play. By just reading the leaflet in board games I normally end up struggling so, as with all the other games I have reviewed for Asmodee, I immediately went to YouTube to find out all the ins and outs of the game play of Azul.
Basically in Azul you and other players collect pretty tiles and then during your turns you have to place them onto your tile board to create a wall of colourful tiles – obviously there is more to it than that and there’s scoring and rules involved – but basically it’s a game of collecting and placing mosaic tiles with the hope of scoring higher than your opponents.
These videos below were very helpful in teaching us the rules of the game. Take a look >>
Dicebreaker has also recently released a great video that gives you instructions on how to play the Azul board game and in his video he even talks about the newest Azul game to be released which is ‘Azul – Summer Pavilion‘. Watch it below >>
So to my review of Azul, I have played it a couple of times with my daughter who is 10 years old and once we got the hang of it we had fun. I think it is probably even better with more players (you can have 2 – 4 players) and when we get a chance we will also play it with my friend who is a fellow board game lover.
I love the fact that the game is colourful and fairly easy to learn how to play. The trickiest bit is the scoring to be honest but once you’ve done it a few times you’ll start to remember it more. The pretty mosaic tiles are stored in the handy drawstring pouch and it’s nice that everything can be stored away neatly inside the box. I am not a fan of games that don’t store away nicely but this isn’t one of them – this packs away in a very tidy manner. Yay!
The game is aimed at players from age 8+ and they suggest that the playing time is roughly 30-45 minutes which is a nice amount of time for a game.
We have many different board games in our collection but this is one that we look forward to playing lots more of during 2020.
I would like to say a big thank you to Asmodee for kindly gifting us this copy of Azul to review on my blog as part of their Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club however I owe them a huge apology for the delay in publishing the review due to my ill health in the New Year.
If you would like to purchase this popular board game please click here to be taken to the ‘All Good Meeple’ website to buy your copy or alternatively do a quick google search to find a different retailer who may also stock the game – although as I mentioned earlier, at the time of writing this review (18/01/20) it seems to be out of stock at many other retailers. (Please note that none of the links in this review are affiliate links).