Last night I played Azul with Steve, Mike, and Pete. In Azul, players shop for tiles as they work to build a mosaic. You earn points by building columns or rows of tiles, with bonuses for completing full rows or columns or for filling in all the spaces assigned to a certain colour or design. It sounds simple, but the scramble for tiles makes every choice critical; it's as much about sabotaging your rivals as it is completing your own mosaic.
The game itself is handsome indeed, and the tiles are beautiful and weighty and smooth, a pleasure to handle. The rules are easy to grasp, but the depth is rich, with a wealth of strategies to pursue. The action is pretty quick and breezy, despite the way the game encourages players to second-guess themselves as the availability of tiles shifts, demanding agile thinking. We played twice, and I each game took a mere half-hour or so.
Azul has both beauty and brains, and I'd happily play it again.