Azul: Queen's Garden Review

10 September 2022
The difficulty hits just the right spot where you feel the challenge but also want to figure it out

The fourth Azul instalment, Queen’s Garden is probably the furthest departure from the series. Sure, you still have deliciously chunky tiles that you draft onto your player board to make patterns and score points, but that’s where the similarities end.

Queen’s Garden has a lot more component parts than a typical Azul game and they end up being the weakest part of the game. The tile iconology is confusing (luckily there is a reference on the player board) and some of their colours are unnecessarily similar. The game also comes with several cardboard components that feel flimsy and, even unnecessary, like the tile tower and wheel that marks mid-gaming scoring.

As for the main components, along with the player’s board, the garden, Queen’s Garden also comes with honeycomb-shaped cardboard tiles – these are the expansion to your garden – on which the tiles will be placed. The tiles score in a combination of three or more, which could be by colour or pattern. The scoring varies depending on groups, types of tiles and other bonuses, and with several scoring rounds before the end of the game, players need to think both short and long term.

Drafting also comes with its own challenges. Players can draft tiles for free to their storage area, however, to place them in the garden, they will need to pay the price of the tile: pay the value displayed on that tile by discarding other tiles of the same colour or type from their storage. That means that even though you may draft four or five tiles in the same round, only a fraction of them, if any, will end up in your garden.

With a lot to think about, the game of Azul: Queen’s Garden is unlikely to be a chatty affair everyone will be concentrating on their own garden board. However, the difficulty hits just the right spot where you feel the challenge but also want to figure it out. So, although Azul: Queen’s Garden has lost some component elegance of its predecessor, it is a more than a worthy follow-up.



Buy your own copy here

Read the original Azul review here

Designer: Michael Kiesling

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Publisher: Next Move Games

Time: 45-60 minutes

Players: 2-4

Ages: 10+

Price: £43

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