Lay tiles to build profitable streets & attract ever-growing crowds.
Streets is a tile-laying game where players build a city together. Each building has a simple valuation formula which earns money for the owner when the street is scored. Valuations are affected by the other buildings in the street, so smart placement is essential to maximise profit. On top of this, the city is populated by hipsters, families, shoppers and tourists, each with their own preferred building type. Cleverly located properties can benefit from the growing crowds of people who further increase the value of the buildings they visit.
In Streets players take turns placing one Building Tile from their hand of 3 into the city until all city tiles in the game have been placed. Placing a Building Tile extends a street in the city and once a street is finished (enclosed on both sides by a building tile in the opposite direction) it is scored. Players mark their buildings with an ownership marker to indicate it is theirs. When a building is placed new people are also placed on that building matching the icons listed on that building.
Each building has a Valuation associated with it that is scored during street scoring. For example: certain buildings provide money for icons in a street or specific people (tourists, hipsters, parents or shoppers). You also get additional money for each person on that tile. After scoring the people on the buildings will move to other buildings of that type, or if none are in play they get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). FOMO is indicated by standing the people up, from now on when a building is build for that type of people they will move there.
After placing a building tile the players draw a replacement tile from the stack. Once the stack runs out play continues until all players have placed all buildings from their hand. During final scoring players will get half the usual Valuation money for the remaining buildings and the player with the most money is the winner!
I really liked the game Villagers from the same designer and publisher. So I was excited for their new game Streets which is a total different game, but there are some similarities.
Both Villagers and Streets offer simple simple rules yet those rules create some difficult decisions. The games play quick and the artwork makes the game accessible for a broad audience.
With only 3 tiles to choose form each turn the decision space is limited, this prevents Analysis Paralysis. But don't understand me wrong, there is still a lot of strategic decision making involved. Each tile placement should be carefully considered and since you're building the city together you need to consider all the buildings in the city, not only your own since all buildings help you during scoring.
With the city constantly changing you constantly need to adjust your strategy and once you've found the perfect spot for your next building, hope and pray it doesn't get blocked by an opponent. This makes Streets a highly interactive game that I really like. Is an opponent focusing on a single Street? Maybe enclose the street to prevent them from major scoring possibilities, or do you join in with that street to benefit from their buildings and people.
The components are top notch. Thick building tiles. Artwork is great to look at, whether you've won or lost definitely take some time to admire the city you've build together. The tokens are from solid colourful wood and the wooden money bills are a pleasure to handle.
Overall I think I like Villagers a tiny bit better because it offers a bit more depth. But Streets is a worthy successor and a brilliant design.
I have two gripes with the game, sometimes you keep drawing tiles of the same type which can hurt your strategy. There is no way you can influence these draws since you're always drawing from the top of the deck.
Replay-ability is also something to consider since there is not much variability in the starting set-up. However there are two expansions included. The Business Expansion adds a set-collection element. I really liked this addition as it adds another layer of decisions to the game. The Consultants Expansion adds variable player powers to the game. Overall I like Variable Player Powers as this give you a certain direction each game, but I haven't played it enough to determine if they are balanced well enough.
👍 Simple rules, yet difficult and interesting decisions
👍 Components and Artwork are top notch
👍 Direct interactions with your opponents through building placements
➖ Some luck involved in drawing the building tiles
➖ Variabitlity might be an issue, but the included expansions change up the game a fair bit
Streets is a worthy successor to Villagers. Simple rules and difficult decisions offer a challenging puzzle with a lot of interaction between players. There is some luck involved and I'm worried about replayability after numerous plays. The components and art are top notch and if you're looking for a interesting tile-placement game, look no further and get Streets.
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)
Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at Carcassonne or Villagers