Azul: Summer Pavilion

Three years ago began the success story of Michael Kiesling’s Portuguese mosaic games. Azul was one of the great successes of 2017, Spiel des Jahres Winner 2018, 2017 Golden Geek Best Family Game, and a number of other nominations and awards. An expansion or sequel was guaranteed.

That sequel was Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and was somewhat less popular. I can’t speak for everyone else, but personally I found the placement rules counterintuitive, entirely opposite to Azul’s rules and game board that make it perfectly clear what you can place where.

Now we have the latest installment of the series. As you’ll see in a moment Azul: Summer Pavilion is closer to the original game again, but has its own new twists. For better or for worse? We’ll see. One thing outside of the game mechanisms sets this new Azul game apart from its two predecessors: You’ll create a mosaic that didn’t exist in the real world. King Manuel I died before work started on the pavilion he envisioned and the project was scrapped.

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I’ve been talking about this game every time we mentioned word games recently. It’s about time I told you more about it. I’m talking about Decrypto, a word game by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance. It sounds like a regular word game like many others at first. One player gives hints about words, other players on his team try to guess the words. We’ve seen it before. So what makes Decrypto stand out? Allow me to introduce it!

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Crystal Clans

Why would anyone fight for crystals? Maybe because they are shiny. Maybe because of their powerful magic. Or maybe you just can’t stand the thought of another clan getting them. One reason is as good as the other. Crystal Clans hints at a rich setting with its clans’ personalities expressed through special abilities and the units each clan fields, but the setting doesn’t go beyond those hints, not even to tell us why those crystals are so important.

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Werewords is a new game from the ever popular Werewolf franchise. Unsurprisingly, it is a hidden identity game. Equally unsurprisingly, given the name, it’s a word game. And if you think those things don’t mix, like I did, think again.

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