11 July 2018
To the window from the floor
Michael Kiesling’s Azul is getting a follow-up that takes the widely acclaimed tile-layer from tiling floors to fitting windows.
The original Azul was inspired by Portuguese ruler Manuel I, with players tasked with tiling the king’s royal palace by drafting and placing tiles. Released last year, the game has since sold over 320,000 copies, publisher Next Move recently announced, as well as picking up a list of award wins and nominations, from the As d’Or and Spiel des Jahres to the Origins Awards and Mensa Select.
Unsurprisingly, then, there’s plans for a sequel. As you might guess from the name, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra swaps the original’s floor-focused action for a Sagrada-like arrangement of coloured panes in windows. The name nods towards the inspiration of the Pena National Palace in the Portuguese town of Sintra, which holds an expansive collection of stained glass windows from the 14th to 19th centuries and previously owned by King Ferdinand II. In the game, players are again commissioned by King Manuel I, this time to decorate the palace’s chapel windows.
Stained Glass of Sintra will do more than swap the tiles for panes, though, as it sounds like the standalone title will feature gameplay unique to the new game, designed once again by Kiesling. Players will choose their glass panes – represented by translucent pieces – and work to complete their window while avoiding damage and wasted materials. The players’ panel boards are double-sided for an extra amount of variety between games, which will take about half an hour to 45 minutes to play.
Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra is due to release at this year’s Essen, one year after Azul made its debut. Will it repeat the first game’s enormous success? We’ll find out soon enough – but we wouldn’t be surprised if we’re preparing to lay down even more tiles this time next year.