Board Games

Non-Bookish Saturday post : Azul

My previous board game review was Non-Bookish Saturday Post: Calico

This is one of the older games on my shelf. It was an interesting addition. I had fallen into a habit of buying myself games for my birthday or whenever I could. I was only investing in smaller games that did not cost too much. In my first year in Hong Kong, I had ordered from a random place, and it had cost me more than I would have liked. The following year, I convinced my husband to take three trains and a tram to the shop I found online.
Once there, I looked around a lot before giving in and asking the person at the desk for his recommendation. Azul had just come out, and he offered it, saying it was a popular family game. It looks gorgeous, so we accepted the suggestion. The funny part here is that I would play this extensively for the next three years with one very wrong rule. How that happened, and how I was so confident about it the whole time that I took it to my sister’s wedding prep and played it in turns with many members of my family, will remain a mystery to me.

This game is simple to explain, quick to play and looks gorgeous. It is a tile-laying game, and the idea is that you are building a wall. The winner is the best-built wall (with certain extra points in the end). The board is double-sided, with one directing a certain pattern of acceptable tiles. There are five sets of tiles, and none can appear in the same row and column on the wall side. Scoring happens in every round, so you have a visible idea of who is ahead and by how much.
The choices are limited and depend on how many people are playing. You have a central market that is bigger for more players, and you are compelled to pick up all similar tiles from any place that you are doing so. If picking from a mat, you throw the rest onto the floor, and if you are the first to pick from the floor, you get a -1 which will mean you start the play next time around.
I do not think I have ever played a game longer than half an hour when all players are equally invested in the outcome and are putting in their best effort. With distracted players, I really cannot comment.
I have not played the later versions or the expansions, but I have heard good things about many of them. For people who have family who are not so into the idea of Board games in general, this is an excellent introductory way to draw them in.

3 thoughts on “Non-Bookish Saturday post : Azul”

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