Pretty Tile Matching Game

Monday, August 16, 2021

I saw the game Azul and instantly fell in love with what I thought I was: a beautifully designed matching game that would be great to play with our three-year-old. Turns out it's a lot more complicated than that, offering much more gameplay and a multiplayer aspect... so great for Adam and I, not great for our three-year-old.

But I couldn't get the idea of a colorful, artistic, well-designed, and unique matching tile game out of my head. In a perfect world, I would have created hand-crafted ceramic tiles with beautiful vibrant glazes, fired in my own kiln, because how pretty would that have been? But I limited myself to the supplies I had on hand and created them out of watercolor paper and sticky back foam. 

Thick Paper (I used water color paper)
Sticky Back Foam in various colors

Step One: Create your patterns.
I drew my patterns out on 2x2in squares of grid paper, then cut them out to be traced. To make things easier, label the pieces with color and how many you need to cut out.

I find that straight lines are always easier to cut out than curves, and you can make a leaf look beautiful just by adding tones to it. The simpler the design, the less trouble you will have putting it together.

Step Two: Trace your patterns and cut them out.
Trace your pattern pieces onto the back of your sticky back foam. To simplify things trace everything you need to cut out at one time. Sometimes you can nestle triangles into the gaps of each other and make cutting so much easier!

Step Three: Peel and stick your foam pieces.
This step is both the simplest and the most frustrating. Trying to place tiny stickers symmetrically can be a bit of a pain. But don't sweat little mistakes, they won't be noticeable in the end.

Feel free to copy my designs if you don't feel like creating your own! 

I was set on these looking more like art than a game. And while I didn't get the hand-glazed tiles of my dreams, I kind of love the 3D effect from using the foam. It looks clean, bright, and very poke-able. Which is a selling point for both me and my three year old. 

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