Azul is one pretty great strategy puzzle game. Players are artists summoned by the king to design his special most important cathedrals. Using Portuguese tiles, you must complete your masterpiece. At the bottom of the cathedral uses the most materials, so you will need to draft five tiles of color to complete a tile there, while closer to the top you only need one. Players compete over tiles from the best tile factories and want to complete rows to create groupings on their board. Every tile you have is next to another one, which means more points. A game is over when someone completes a row of tiles. It seems confusing but is very easy. The strategy is incredibly deep. The only thing is that it is math-heavy.
Azul was designed by German designer and software company manager Michael Kiesling. He frequently collaborates with Wolfgang Kramer. and together produced Spiel des Jahres winners Tikal and Torres. He also solo designed Vikings, a very popular medieval auction strategy game.
After the success of Azul, the publishers put out additional stand-alone games that follow the theme of constructing things for the king. And they are good games. In 2018 was Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and in 2019 was Azul: Summer Pavilion.
The Azul tiles are Portuguese tiles known as azulejos. They are everywhere in Portugal. They decorate everything from walls of churches and monasteries, to palaces, ordinary houses, park seats, fountains, shops, and train stations. They often portray scenes from the history of the country, show its most ravishing sights, or simply serve as street signs, nameplates, or house numbers.
One has a preset guide to where the colors go and one does not. The non-guided side still can only have one color/patter per row, you just get to choose where it goes instead in this version.
Yes. You can have multiple rows of a given color going at the same time but any round of taking a single color has to go in a single row. For instance, you have 2 rows of blue and you grab 3 blues on your draft all 3 must go together into the same row.
No. Once you have completed that color, you can no longer put any more of that color/pattern anywhere into the row.
From top left to bottom right, moving along the rows going one space at a time with your finger. Take the score of that individual piece and then keep a running total. This will help you not get mixed up.