Our theme for November is Family Games. Rachael chose Azul from Next Move Games and Plan B Games as her Game of the Month.

“Azul is an artistically and strategically beautiful game for 2-4 players. Everyone plays as a tile artisan tasked with building a palace wall for the King of Portugal by drafting colorful tiles.

The game is split into two halves per round. Each round, the first player sets up 4 tiles on each factory disc. Players take turns claiming tiles from a factory or from the center during the first half. Be careful not to ‘break’ any tiles by taking more than you need for your wall – those become negative points.

Once there are no more tiles in the factories, the second half of the round begins. Any tile in a completed row can now be built and added to your wall. Every tile built that round is then counted for points. The rounds are repeated until someone completes a horizontal row of tiles. There are a few ways to get bonus points, and the player with the most points wins!

I can easily see why this game won the 2018 Spiel des Jahres, widely regarded as the Game of the Year in the board game industry. The rules are simple to learn. Playing the first round, the hardest part is scoring, but by the end of the game, everyone picks it up with ease. There is also a depth of strategy from the choices presented, especially in later rounds, that makes this game approachable for players of any experience.

The components are my favorite part of Azul. The tiles provide a pleasing tactile feel and rummaging in the bag to set up the factories creates a wonderful clanking sound. Everything about this game is appealing!”

Come play a game with our demo copy. If you love it like we do, you can pick up one of your own. It’s perfect for a family gift!