The makers of popular and beautiful tile-placement board game Azul are flirting with disaster by introducing a new entry to the series with pieces designed after gourmet chocolates. Specifically, the disaster is my eating them on accident after mistaking the plastic pieces for delicious bonbons.
Azul: Master Chocolatier will be a limited edition version that replaces the already candy-esque square tiles with ones that look like tempered chocolate in little wrappers and tins. Publisher Next Move Games - part of Plan B Games - hasn’t revealed much beyond the the box art, but even that gives us a clear look at swirls of milk and dark chocolate, ones glazed in cherry reds and mint greens, decadent little white chocolate morsels and fancy gold filigree along the box’s edge and the treats themselves.
See? This is what I mean. Assorted gourmet chocolates are already designed to activate the eyes and the tummy as quickly as possible, and the artwork for Master Chocolatier has me worried game night might end in a sheepish trip to the pharmacy seeking a laxative.
Jokes aise, Azul is already known for clever twists on its already winning design and pairing those mechanics with some of the loveliest art in the hobby. Master Chocolatier will keep the core gameplay of the original board game - including its two to four player limit - while also layering new art on the game boards, cloth bag and circular chocolate factories where the sweets are produced. A press release hinted at a variant on the flip side but didn't explain more.
Those who haven’t yet played Azul are missing out on one of the most widely beloved and approachable board games of the last five years. Designed by Michael Kiesling, the game tasks players with filling their wall with tiles in order to maximise their score at the end of the game. But only so many tiles are available to snag at a time, and players can choose the piece that will fit their mosaic or deny an opponent’s perfect opportunity to complete their own combo. Check out our guide explaining how to play Azul for more in-depth information.
Since its release in 2017, the series has expanded to include several sequels including 2021’s Queen’s Garden, which uses hexagonal honeycomb pieces and the added hurdle of needing to first purchase tiles before adding them to your mosaic.
Next Move Games said Azul: Master Chocolatier will be coming in “late 2022” with more information planned sometime “over the next few months”. There was also no mention of a price, so keep checking Dicebreaker for more information. And remember: if a chocolate tastes like plastic, try chewing it some more.