Board Games: Azul & Spirit Island

Today's blog post comes from a member of the Keen and Graev Community. Yotor is our resident board game expert who we turn to for all of our questions and purchasing decisions related to board games. Special thanks to him for writing this up!

Hello everyone, it’s Yotor. I know Keen hasn’t been feeling well so I thought I would write up a little post so he can take some time to feel better.

Azul

First game I would like to talk about is Azul. In this abstract game you will be drafting tiles and placing them on your player board. While that may seem a little dull at first as the rules are easy to learn and you will soon find out that as your tile laying options become more and more limited as your opponents are picking those tiles you need. You will find yourself crying on the inside and laughing maniacally as you take the little star burst colored tiles and filling up your tableau.

The game has great component quality with bright weighty hard plastic tiles that you’ll want to eat right out of the box. It also contains a large cloth bag and a great overall Portugal tile art theme. The game is simple yet has astounding depth, and would definitely be one of the top of 2017 buyers guide suggestions had I played it before I wrote my suggestions.

This game plays great with 2-4, and is a great addition to your board game collection. If you don’t want to take my word for it, the game has been given the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence and Shut up Sit Down gave it a resoundingly positive review.

Spirit Island

Lastly I would like to talk about Spirit Island. In spirit island you play as a living deity of a tropical island being slowly conquered by the imperial civilizations of Europe. As they explore, build and ravage your island you must use your native people the Dohan and your magical powers to destroy and frighten the explorers off of your home.

This game is a Co-op game that has you working together with up to 4 players, and can even be played solo! The game comes with 8 unique spirits that play dramatically different. Do you want to be the lightning bird dedicated to destroying buildings and villages or maybe a earth spirit with powerful defensive abilities to help the Dohan fight against the invaders. The game has so many different options that I can see myself playing this one for years before tiring of it.

I will say that this game is complex. While the rules are straightforward you may find yourself looking at so many options, you might be challenged as what is the best course of action. I haven’t yet explained a key component to the game: Your abilities or powers are fast and slow which drives a very interesting mechanic of balancing your objectives between those that happen now and those that happen the next turn.

Overall the art is astounding and component quality is top notch. The little explorer miniatures are amazingly detailed for how finely detailed they are. The game is great if you want a complex Co-op area control game.

Thank you all for letting me write up a guest post. Keen I hope you feel better soon!

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