Azul: Box Cover Front
Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — back cover, German edition - Credit: W Eric Martin
Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
  1. Azul: Box Cover Front
  2. Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
  3. Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — back cover, German edition - Credit: W Eric Martin
  4. Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
  5. Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin

Azul Review

"Azul's innovative gameplay mechanics, stunning artwork, and strategic decision-making make it a standout board game. With endless replayability, every game offers thrilling challenges and exciting moments. This is a must-have for any board game enthusiast."
  • Gameplay mechanics
  • Art and components
  • Strategy and decision-making
  • Replayability
4.8/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

Azul is a critically acclaimed board game that combines innovative gameplay mechanics with stunning artwork and high-quality components. Its intuitive rules and strategic decision-making ensure an enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. The game offers endless replayability, with variable setups, countless strategies, and dynamic interactions among players. Every game of Azul is a fresh and engaging adventure, challenging players to adapt and think ahead. With its exceptional blend of elegance, depth, and fun, Azul is a must-have addition to any board game collection, captivating players with its beauty and delivering a truly immersive experience.

  • Number of Players: 2-4 players
  • Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Recommended Player Age: 8 years and above
  • Mechanism: Tile Placement
  • Designer: Michael Kiesling
  • Publisher: Next Move Games
  • Innovative gameplay mechanics
  • Stunning artwork and components
  • Strategic decision-making
  • Endless replayability
  • Complex for younger players
  • Limited player interaction
  • Tiles can be fragile
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Welcome to our comprehensive review of Azul, the critically acclaimed board game that has taken the gaming world by storm. In this review, we will delve into the exciting gameplay mechanics, captivating artwork and components, strategic decision-making, and the endless fun and replayability that Azul has to offer. Get ready to explore the fascinating world of Azul as we dive into the details of what makes this game a true standout among its peers.

How It Plays

Setting Up

To start playing Azul, begin by randomly placing tiles onto the factory boards, creating a unique setup for each game. Place the remaining tiles in a central supply area and have each player take their player board.


On their turn, a player can either take tiles of one color from a factory board and place them in a row on their player board, or take all the tiles of one color from a factory board and place the extras in the center. Any tiles placed on the rightmost in a row will be moved to the corresponding pattern on the player board during scoring.

Players continue taking turns, selecting tiles strategically and placing them on their player boards to complete patterns and score points. Fill entire rows or columns on your player board to trigger bonuses, but be mindful of wastage penalties if you take more tiles than you can place.

Winning the Game

The game ends when a player completes a specified number of rows on their player board. Scoring takes place, where players earn points for completed patterns, full rows, and completed objectives. The player with the highest score at the end of the game emerges as the winner of Azul.

Want to know more? Read our extensive strategy guide for Azul.

The Exciting World of Gameplay Mechanics in Azul

If you’re looking for a board game with innovative and engaging gameplay mechanics, then look no further than Azul. This tile-placement game offers a unique and refreshing twist on the genre, keeping players hooked from start to finish.

Intuitive Rules and Easy-to-Learn Gameplay

One of the standout aspects of Azul’s gameplay mechanics is its simplicity. The rules are straightforward and easy to grasp, allowing players of all experience levels to dive right into the action. With just a few minutes of explanation, you’ll be strategizing and placing your colorful tiles with confidence and ease.

Strategic Decision-Making at Every Turn

Azul truly shines when it comes to the depth of strategic decision-making it offers. From the moment you start playing, you’ll find yourself faced with tough choices and important decisions. Which tiles should you choose? Where should you place them? How can you maximize your points while also sabotaging your opponents? These questions constantly keep players engaged and ensure that no two games of Azul are ever the same.

Dynamic Gameplay with an Element of Competition

The gameplay in Azul is fast-paced and dynamic, thanks to the clever mechanics of selecting and placing tiles. Each turn, players must carefully consider the available options and balance their desire for valuable tiles with the risk of adding too many to their personal playing board. This adds an exciting element of competition as players strive to outwit each other and strategize their way to victory. The tension and anticipation build up with each and every move.

Engaging Mechanics that Encourage Forward Thinking

Azul rewards forward thinking and careful planning. As you select and place your tiles, you must not only pay attention to your current turn but also consider the future implications of your decisions. Will certain placements leave gaps that may be difficult to fill later on? Will you be able to create powerful combinations and achieve the highest scores? These mechanics invite players to think strategically and test their ability to plan ahead, adding an extra layer of challenge to the game.

Now that we’ve explored the exciting gameplay mechanics of Azul, let’s delve into another captivating aspect – the mesmerizing Art and components. Get ready to be amazed by the sheer beauty and quality of what this game has to offer!

Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin

A Feast for the Eyes: Art and Components in Azul

When it comes to the visual appeal and quality of its components, Azul takes center stage, creating a truly immersive experience for players.

Visually Stunning and Vibrant Artwork

The art in Azul is breathtaking, with intricately designed tiles that feature vibrant colors and captivating patterns. Each tile is a work of art in itself, making the act of selecting and placing them on the board a visually gratifying experience. The attention to detail and the stunning illustrations truly enhance the overall enjoyment of the game, immersing players in a world of beauty and elegance.

Top-notch Components and High-Quality Materials

In addition to its artistic allure, Azul stands out for its top-notch components and high-quality materials. The tiles are made from durable, thick cardboard that resists wear and tear, ensuring that the game will last for countless sessions. The game board is sturdy and well-crafted, providing a stable playing surface. Even the included scoring markers and player boards have a satisfying weight and feel to them. With Azul, you’re not only getting a visually stunning game but also one that is built to last.

Elegant and Functional Design

Azul’s design is both elegant and functional, making it easy to set up and play. The game components are well-organized and neatly fitting inside the box, allowing for quick and hassle-free preparation. The player boards have clear sections for organizing the tiles, facilitating gameplay and reducing confusion. With its thoughtful design, Azul ensures that players can focus on the game itself rather than fumbling with setup or components.

Engaging Multiplayer Experience

In addition to its stunning art and top-notch components, Azul excels at creating an engaging multiplayer experience. The game is designed to accommodate two to four players, sparking friendly competition and fun interactions. Whether you’re strategizing and scheming with the person sitting next to you or keeping a close eye on your opponents’ moves, Azul encourages lively engagement and ensures that everyone at the table remains fully immersed in the game.

With its visually stunning artwork and high-quality components, Azul is a true work of art in the world of board games. But there’s more to this game than meets the eye. Next, we’ll take a closer look at the strategic decision-making involved in Azul, so get ready to plan your way to victory!

Azul - Azul, Plan B Games, 2017 — back cover, German edition - Credit: W Eric Martin

Mastering the Art of Strategy and Decision-making in Azul

Behind the mesmerizing visuals and engaging gameplay of Azul lies a world of strategic depth, where every move and decision can make a difference in your quest for victory.

A Multitude of Paths to Victory

Azul offers players a wide range of strategic options, allowing for different paths to victory. Whether you choose to focus on completing specific patterns on your player board, collecting certain types of tiles, or strategically denying your opponents valuable tiles, the game rewards careful planning and adaptability. With the ever-changing availability of tiles and the dynamic nature of the gameplay, each decision you make can lead you closer to triumph or hinder your progress.

Balancing Risk and Reward

One of the key elements of strategy in Azul is the delicate balance between risk and reward. The game presents players with opportunities to take calculated risks for greater rewards, but also forces them to weigh the potential consequences. Should you take a chance on a high-scoring tile that may be more difficult to place, or play it safe with a lower-scoring option? This constant evaluation of risk and reward adds an exciting layer of decision-making to the gameplay and keeps players on their toes.

Adapting to Changing Circumstances

Azul is a game that demands adaptability. The availability of tiles can change rapidly, depending on the choices of your opponents. Being able to adapt your strategy in response to the ever-shifting landscape is crucial to success. Sometimes, you may need to adjust your plans on the fly, making quick decisions based on the current state of the game. This flexibility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances make for a dynamic and exhilarating gameplay experience.

Long-Term Planning and Forward Thinking

While some decisions in Azul can be made on the spot, the game also rewards long-term planning and forward thinking. Successfully anticipating future opportunities and challenges is key to maximizing your score. As you strategize and make decisions, you need to focus not just on the immediate gameplay but also on how your choices will impact your future turns. With each move, you’ll be testing your ability to plan ahead strategically and make calculated decisions.

To truly master the art of strategy and decision-making in Azul, you must utilize a combination of tactics, adaptability, and forward thinking. But that’s not all – there’s another thrilling aspect of the game we have yet to explore. In the next section, we’ll dive into the exciting realm of replayability in Azul, so get ready for endless fun and new experiences!

Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin

Endless Fun and Excitement: The Replayability of Azul

One of the factors that sets Azul apart from other board games is its exceptional replayability. Each playthrough is a unique experience, ensuring that no two games are ever the same.

Variable Setup for Fresh Challenges

Azul introduces variability into the gameplay through its unique setup. At the beginning of each game, players randomly place tiles onto the factory boards, creating a new distribution of tiles for each playthrough. This variability adds an element of surprise, forcing players to adapt their strategies based on the changing circumstances. Should you focus on a specific color that’s in abundance, or adjust your plans to accommodate the limited availability of certain tiles? The different setups ensure that every game requires fresh thinking and presents new challenges to overcome.

Countless Strategies to Explore

The strategic depth of Azul allows for countless strategies to be explored. From the choice of tiles to the placement on your player board, there are numerous tactical decisions to consider. Do you prioritize completing specific patterns for bonus points, or strive for a broader range of colors for bonus objectives? Do you focus on collecting high-scoring tiles or deny your opponents valuable options? The multitude of viable strategies ensures that each game feels distinct and provides players with the opportunity to experiment and find their preferred playstyle.

Dynamic Interactions and Competition

Azul’s multiplayer experience adds an extra layer of excitement to its replayability. The interactions among players can be intense as they compete for the same tiles or strategically block each other. Each game is a social experience filled with clever moves, calculated risks, and a friendly rivalry. The dynamic nature of these interactions ensures that no two games of Azul play out in the same way, creating a consistently engaging and memorable experience.

Expansion Options for Enhanced Variety

If you find yourself hungry for even more variety, Azul offers expansion options that further increase its replayability. The game’s expansions introduce new mechanics, tiles, and strategies that breathe new life into the game. With expansions such as “Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra” or “Azul: Summer Pavilion,” you can explore new avenues of strategy and enjoy novel challenges. The expansions seamlessly integrate with the base game, providing even more hours of fun-filled gameplay.

Azul is a game that keeps players coming back for more, with its variety of setups, countless strategies, dynamic interactions, and expansion options. The combination of all these factors ensures that the game offers a high level of replayability and provides endless fun for board game enthusiasts.

With its innovative gameplay mechanics, captivating artwork, and strategic decision-making, Azul is a recommended addition to any board game collection. Prepare to be entertained and enthralled by the brilliance of Azul, where every game brings forth exciting new challenges and enjoyable experiences.

Azul - Azul Mini, Next Move Games, 2023 (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin


In conclusion, Azul is an outstanding board game that delivers on all fronts. With its intuitive gameplay mechanics, breathtaking artwork and top-quality components, strategic decision-making, and exceptional replayability, Azul offers an immersive and captivating gaming experience. From the variable setups and countless strategies to the dynamic interactions among players, every game of Azul is a fresh and enjoyable adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned board game enthusiast or new to the hobby, Azul is a must-have addition to your collection. With its blend of elegance, depth, and fun, Azul deserves its reputation as an exceptional game that never fails to deliver an engaging and memorable experience.

4.8/5Overall Score
Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.