Azul; hottest game of all time?
It's Friday night, the lights are low. I look over the table and our eyes meet, a long and passionate moment passes. The tension breaks as I take two red tiles from the top of a coaster. ‘No’ you whisper, ‘sorry, I need these’ I lie.
With all your vulnerabilities obvious, Azul is intimacy. A game about tiling shouldn’t be so sexy.
Azul is my favourite two player game, whilst still being a fantastic game for three or four as well. A lot of that comes down to simple and elegant game design.
The game happens in three stages.
First you must takes turns choosing tiles from coasters, in this game you are tiling a wall so you are going to need some tiles. This makes up the excitement of the game as you will need to balance taking tiles that you want, with taking the tiles your opponent needs. The best thing is that Azul wants you to be good at this, by the third play of this game you will be able to look at your opponents wall and be able to determine exactly what pieces they hope to get.
The second stage happens as soon as all the tiles have been moved on to the player boards. Where they are simply moved from the loading bay on to the wall.
Finally you score. Now if you happen to be someone familiar with tiling, you would know that it is good practice to place tiles down next to other tiles you have already placed, Azul knows this and so it has a scoring system that encourages it. Another good practice is to work out your score out loud, as obnoxiously as you can, just so your friends know you aren’t cheating.