After playing a couple of tabletop games, there were some moments that the game design can inspire me with certain ideas or gameplay mechanisms. Not that designing a game is an easy task but it does make me think, maybe I can design one if nobody has done it before.
Somehow I found that in this next game called Streets. It is a tile laying game, which is a sequel to Villagers from the same designer and publisher. Not exactly the same idea that I had in mind but at least I learned something from it.
So, what is this Streets board game? How do we play the game? Is there a solo mode for this game?
Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Streets Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.
Hope this helps. Is Streets going to be the best tile laying game out there?
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Game’s Title: Streets
Genre: Tile Laying, Competitive, City Building Theme, Set Collection, Variable Player Power, Hand Management.
Designer: Haakon Gaarder
Artist: Haakon Gaarder
Publisher: Sinister Fish Games
Number of Players: 1 – 5
Playtime: 30 – 60 minutes
Official Website: Streets (sinisterfish.com)
Release Year: 2021
Price: $35 (Standard Edition)
25 Ownership Tokens (5 per color)
48 Business Tokens
87 Money Tokens
2 Component Trays
47 Building Tiles
48 Meeples (12 per color)
13 Cards (70x 120mm):
Consultant Cards (7)
Player Aid Cards (5)
Solo Mode Card (1)
Kickstarter Promo Pack (2021)
Dice Tower 2021 Promo Tile (2021)
Board Game Arena Promo Tile (2022)
About Streets Board Game
Streets is the sequel to Villagers from the same designer and artist, Haakon Gaarder with a totally different gameplay and theme but the same packaging box. The theme in this one is City Building in modern life setting.
Players are investors trying to make a lot of money by expanding the City with different type of buildings. Different buildings can attract different group of people from Hipsters, Tourists, Families and children or Shopper. They will hangout in that building as long as the street is still active.
Players will build the city collectively with City Park and Central Station as the starting points. They can expand the street by adding one building each turn.
Eventually the street will become full as each street has a limit of 5 buildings with various owners. The street will be closed down by two intersections. The owner of buildings in that closed street will have to sell their buildings to make money. Players will then have to expand that intersection for a new street and add more buildings.
People who used to hangout on those buildings will lose their place. They will suffer FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. Instead of going home they will look for the next new places to hangout that are suited for their group.
That is the demand that the players can try to catch. By providing a new place for specific group, they can attract those people to come and hangout. More people that will stay in one location will increase the value of that building. So, when the owner sell that building again subsequently, they can make more money.
The building itself has a base value but with certain requirements. If we can meet the requirements sometimes it can give one time value or incremental increase for every set. The requirements are usually about how that building can interact with other buildings in the same street.
Maybe one building that attracts hipsters can operate better when there is another building for tourists. Another one is a building can function better if the owner owns multiple buildings in the same street.
It may also require some spatial requirements. For example, the building will get higher value if it is placed as an intersection. Or, the building can get benefit from each adjacent buildings in 8 directions.
Since all players are building the city collectively, they can choose to take advantage of the competitors’ effort or just cut their growing valuation. They can keep extending the street or just close it down early. At the same time, if they are not very careful, the other players can do the same to them.
The challenge is that each player can only own up to 5 active buildings at a time. Before they can develop a new one, they either have to sell their previous buildings from closing the street or abandon that building.
If they choose to abandon, at the time the street is closed, they will not make any money from the abandoned building. Because of that players cannot just expand the city in any directions separately. They need to make sure that when other players are closing the street during their turn, they can get one of their ownership back.
The game will end after each player has built about 10 to 15 buildings. Whoever makes the most money will win.
At the end of the game, if the player hasn’t sold their buildings, they will only get half of the potential value. This next video is a trailer about the game during their crowdfunding campaign from the Sinister Fish Games, the publisher.
The main mechanism in Streets Board Game is tile laying or tile placement. Each tile is a huge square tile and depicts a single building that are accessible by a single road.
Every turn, except for the last few rounds, each player will have to play one of their 3 tiles in hand. If there are still more buildings or tiles left, they can draw one back up again.
So, players can choose to play immediately what they just drafted or they can keep it for later in the game if they think it can give higher value or score. They can play the tile to either extend the existing street with the limit of 5 or they can enclose the existing street to create an intersection.
Almost everytime we place a tile, we will also place a number of meeple on that tile with the same type or color. As mentioned before, when the street is closed down, these people will find a new place to hangout.
We will move them to a new tile in an active street that matches their type. Since the new tile will also attract new meeple, as the game progresses, there will be a lot more meeples that will increase the value.
Those are just the idea of the base game. Streets comes with 2 modules that we can turn them on and off separately: CONSULTANTS and BUSINESS ICONS, in the same base game box.
Consultants introduces Variable Player Powers. Each player will start with a unique ability that only they can use. These abilities can tweak some of the base idea rules. For example, the Entrepreneur can score the tile in our hand during the scoring or street closing.
There is also one that will change one color into any color or allows us to draw 2 tiles each turn instead of one.
The second module, the Business Icons adds another set collection element for players. Each tile will have one or 2 business icons of 4 different types.
Everytime the street is closed, the player who owns a building in that street can take one of the business icons depicted by their buildings. At the end of the game, for every complete set of 4 different icons, the player will get more money.
There is also a majority bonus. For each business icon type, the player who has the most will gain more money.
Streets can also be played solo against the Grifter, the AI with just the base game or includes those modules.
This next video is an interview with both the designer and publisher about the game from OMG! Nexus channel. The designer also shared his designer diaries that we can read on BGG. Here are the links for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Streets board game comes in the same size and shape box as Villagers. A long rectangular box in horizontal orientation. The overall size is 25 x 18.6 x 10.7 cm with the lid that is not covering all of the base box. While Villagers uses green color for the base, Streets is orange.
The top of the box only shows the title while the long side will have some arts about the game. Since most of the lid is white, the bottom part is full with information.
We can find some text describing the game a bit, illustrations and list for the components. There is an illustration for the gameplay but it doesn’t clearly show. It’s more like how we place the tile without the meeple and the Ownership tokens.
There is also a QR code for the gameplay tutorial. That will send us to the publisher’s page with tutorial videos from Gaming Rules! channel.
I wish the code is not at the bottom. The problem is if I want to scan the code, I have to make sure to either close the lid first or make it empty before flipping the box. Luckily, they also put the code on the first page of the rulebook.
The copy that I have is the Standard Kickstarted Edition, with the SKU code SIF00051. Retail edition will be SIF00050 and the Kickstarter Deluxe edition will have SIF00052.
We can find the code at the top right corner at the bottom of the box. This way, we can tell the difference in content without opening the game.
Inside the box, we can find the rulebook, two trays filled with the wooden tokens, cards in a plastic bag, 2 stack of tiles, wrapped by paper line each, several cardboard sheets and a draw bag. For the Kickstarted edition, it also came with promo pack that can fit in. There are also 2 tile dividers, one for promo pack and one for 5th player.
For this edition, the box is almost full. It can probably hold a set of tiles but nothing more. Even I’m hesitant to use sleeve for the cards.
I feel like the deluxe edition will be even more problematic. They will use wooden money tokens instead of cardboards. The publisher even created a video of how to put them back in the box for the deluxe edition which we can find here.
I think the problem with this form is that if we hold the box from the top, the weight of the component inside it will push the base part down. So, instead of lifting the box, we are just taking the lid off, hopefully that the content will stay in place. The problem is solved if we use like elastic band to hold the box.
Based on the box design, the game was meant to be stored standing, in that horizontal orientation. While more common box shape and size can go either way. I personally don’t have any issue storing the game in vertical orientation in my container box.
The copy that I have is the English version. According to BGG, for other version with different languages, there is only one for Spanish from the publisher, Arrakis Games.
In the box, they have to put store the book standing because the width is wider than the base box footprint. The problem with this is that I think the outer edge of the book will eventually get ruined.
Here is the table of contents of this rulebook.
Cover (Page 1). The cover has the same art as the box cover plus additional illustration of a complete city. We can find several buildings from the game, except for the high rise buildings on the background. At the bottom, we can find the publisher’s logo and QR code to the publisher’s page.
Introduction and Game Overview (Page 2). Here we can find a bit of text describing the theme and what we will be doing in this game. The interesting part is they suggest looking on Page 13 with brief example of how players are going to resolve their turn.
Components (Page 3). This page has a list of components of the base game only, each with an illustrated example.
Building Anatomy (Page 4). More accurately, the Tile anatomy. This explains all parts of each tile, including the Business icon for the expansion module, except for the building’s title and the art.
Setup (Page 5). This is a one page setup for multiplayer base game from 2 to 5 players. The difference is the number of tiles we will be using in each player count while the rest remains the same.
4 player game will be using all 40 while 5 player game will use additional 5 tiles. For 3 players we remove one of each type except wild and for 2, we will remove 10, 2 of each type, including the Wild type.
Gameplay and the Turn Sequence (Page 6). Players just take turns in clockwise order. During their turn, they can just place one tile from their hand. After that it can either go to scoring the street or immediately just draw a new tile from the deck.
Placement Rules (Page 7 – 8). This explains what is allowed when placing the Building tile to the City. The key is to connect the road part of the tile to at least one of the existing tiles. It can either extend the street or enclose it.
This section continues with a definition of a street with a limit of 5 buildings in the same orientation. Next part is about Enclosing a Street and how the tile placement can trigger this event.
Scoring Street (Page 9 – 10). This is the scoring after a street is enclosed at both ends for the base game only. There are 4 steps of how to resolve the scoring, from Valuation, Extra value from Person, take the money and then take the ownership token.
Current player starts scoring all of their buildings first in any order they like and going clockwise around the table. The section continues with how the symbols pointing to the enclosed street also count for the Valuation.
Moving People and FOMO (Page 10 – 11). This is the next thing the current player needs to do after scoring a street. The current player can choose where those people will go or they will suffer FOMO.
The interesting part from this is that people can move to abandoned buildings. But the abandoned buildings they are going to must be in an active, non enclosed street.
FOMO in this game simply means we place the meeple standing instead of lying down. They will immediately move when the next building with the matching type is placed. After the move, they will lie down on that building, even if the building is already abandoned.
Abandoning a Building (Page 11). This can happen when the current player doesn’t have any free ownership token to be placed on their next building. They will have to remove one from their previous buildings which those buildings will become abandoned.
The people on the abandoned building will become FOMO or they can move to an active building with the matching symbol. This includes the new building that is built on that turn.
The End of the Game and Scoring (Page 12). Here we can find how the game can end, which is just when all tiles have been played, followed by how to score at the end. The score per tile is worth just half the regular scoring and there will be no meeple movement.
For the tie breaker the rule suggests both players play the game again just the two of them.
Gameplay Example (Page 13 – 14). This part describes how to resolve a couple of turns between 2 players, each with illustration. We can see how we can place a tile either extend the street or enclose it, scoring then moving the meeples.
Solo Mode (Page 15 – 17). For the solitaire variant, we will be playing against the Grifter bot. This section explains the change of rules and setup from the base game and how we resolve the opponent’s action.
The explanation starts with just the base game. At the end of the section, we can find how to use both expansion modules. For the Business expansion, Grifter will always take the token they have the least amount of. As for the Consultant, Grifter will just take additional points which depends on the difficulty setting.
Business Expansion (Page 18 – 19). This part explains the Business Expansion Modules. It starts with explanation about the tokens, setup, rules for how to get resolve them and how the scoring works.
There are some important notes from here. The tokens are considered as limited supply. Player order matters with player who closed the streets gets the best advantage.
Consultants Expansion (Page 20 – 22). This part is for the Consultants Module. This explains how to setup using the cards, some icons we can find on the card and how to use the stated abilities and clarification for the 7 Consultants. Those from Promo Pack won’t be explained in the rulebook.
Valuation Explained (Page 23). Here we can find all of the scoring conditions or Valuation from all of the tiles in the base game only. Anything from the promo pack will be explained in a separate sheet. The base game has 10 different type of Valuation.
Credits (Page 24). Here we can find a list of people who are involved in developing this game. From the designer, publisher, playtesters and proofreaders.
One interesting note is that on the last page, it says that the publisher is working with TreeSisters.org, a reforestation charity based in UK. They are doing tree planting to offset the carbon emissions from the manufacture and distributions of the game.
In general, what a player will do in the game, the decision and how to resolve, are very simple. The rulebook does a good job explaining how the game works. Some will be explain in one of the examples, so we need to also look into those for clarification.
A lot of the questions on the forums are either about the Consultants and some Valuations from certain buildings. I think the combinations of both can also become very complicated and need further clarifications.
Even new tiles from the promo pack can introduce something new and bend the rule. The designer, publisher and probably some testers have been very active answering those questions.
From my experience, I think we will occasionally find some new complications or details that can happen in the game and can raise some questions. However, usually we can figure out the answer if we understand the idea of the game.
Inside the box, there is no insert but they include 2 Component trays made of cardboard with the same size. Both are 2 pieces with the lid that we can also use as another tray.
The size of both trays are identical and the only difference between the two is the icon on the tray lid. One will show four people figures and the other will show the Business Icon and Ownership tokens.
The one with people figure is filled with meeples. More about the Meeple later below. The box is big enough to contain additional figures from the Promo Pack. I don’t know if the publisher is planning to add more of these meeples in future expansion.
The other one is filled with the wooden Ownership Tokens and is meant to contain the Business Tokens as well. For this one, I think it is big enough for me to store the cardboard money token as well so I do not use the bag.
Maybe not all of the Money tokens but since I mostly play alone or up to 2 players, I don’t feel the need to punch out every money token. The size is about 7.5 x 9.5 x 3.1 cm. We are supposed to store them standing inside the game box.
In general, I like trays better than insert. With trays, we can easily put them on the table in any empty space beside the board, probably separately. While with insert, usually it will be a big single insert and with limited table space, we probably have to put them elsewhere.
I wish they can provide more trays for this game even if with smaller size for different components. As I said, if we play with lower player count like solo, we probably won’t use a good portion of the components. Since there are only 2 trays, those unused components will stay on the tray and get moved along while playing.
Since there are components for optional modules, like the Business tokens, it’s like I will need to use them anyway. On the other hand, I can see that the tray has a perfect size for any board game.
It’s just that maybe it is not the best for this game. If they add more, there won’t be enough rooms for tiles and other components.
When playing the game solo, with 4 possible trays, I usually use one of the lid to store money for the opponent and their tokens. It helps as we probably need to move them a lot due to how the tableau can sprawl in unexpected directions.
But at that point, we probably won’t be able to track what the opponent is already have that easily. Like when they have to choose which Business tokens to take or how much Money they already make.
I haven’t played with more players and we probably will need to provide more trays for each player.
This bag is meant to store all of the money tokens. The size while in flat is about 13.5 x 14 cm with a $ sign printed and brown color.
It will look very cool like having a bag full of cash like in the old days. Even though thematically it is disconnected as the game is set in modern era, probably where the people have already been using digital money or so.
I personally don’t like using bags for storage, especially if we have to put the bag inside a small box like in this game. I also think the idea of bag is better for wooden components but not really good for cardboard.
For those who got the deluxe edition where the money tokens are made of wood, this could be a good storage. But that is not the case with the Standard edition. Cardboard will just stuck in the bag.
Another issue with the bag is that I think it is more like a randomizer. If we take what’s inside blindly then it will make sense. However, in this game, we know exactly the amount of money we will be taking.
We will also make some changes from time to time. With that in mind, it is easier for me to just take all of the money out of the bag into a tray before we play the game.
Moreover, since there are a couple of different value or denomination of money token, after taking them out of the bag, I probably have to sort them out again. It will take more setup time.
My hand can easily fit in to the bag so I won’t have any trouble picking any of them. But then my hand will cover the entire hole. I have to look inside the bag first to see the right denomination that I want to take and hopefully, I can reach, blindly the right one.
So, for me, maybe having like a cash register will be a proper form instead of this bag where the money is sorted out neatly.
As it is, the bag will just take some space inside the box among tiles that also don’t use for higher player count. Luckily we can just fold it but it’s an upgrade that I don’t find it very useful.
I haven’t seen the deluxe wooden money so I don’t know how big the bag will take the space in the box to store those wooden money tokens. From the publisher’s reboxing video, it seems they can fit in just fine.
The first wooden components that I will discuss here is the People token or the Meeple. All of them have the same shape and size but with 4 different colors, each with 12 meeples. The colors are blue, pink, green and yellow.
Compared to other games, the shape looks amazingly like a person with hands, legs, heads and body. If we get the deluxe edition, each of them will have full color printed on both sides. They are very detail where we can see their face and shirts,
I don’t know about the deluxe edition but I assume the size is the same, which is 2 cm tall, 1.1 cm width and 0.9 cm thickness.
In this game, these 4 colors are not player colors. But they are based on the type of citizen groups from Parents (Green), Tourist (Pink), Hipster (Yellow) and Shopper (Blue). All players will have the same access to each type.
As mentioned before, every building or tile will attract one or 2 types of people. Once we place the tile to the city, usually we will put one or 2 of these meeple with the matching color to that tile.
What it does is it will increase the value of that tile or building by $1 per meeple. Once the building is closed down, these meeple will move to an active building, again, with the matching type.
So, at the start of the game, there will be just a couple of them. As the game progresses more meeple will be added to the City moving from one building to another. Players who can take advantage of that can score a lot of points or money.
These 48 meeples are considered as limited supply. That means, once they run out, the player won’t be able to attract those same group of people to hangout in their building.
The publisher said that it is very unlikely that we will use all of them, especially with just tiles from the base game. Some people said that it can happen with 5 players.
The tiles from Promo can attract more like up to 3 Meeples so it is possible that it can happen. On the other hand, the promo pack also include the Giant Meeple for each type to represent 5 meeples.
With just solo or 2 players, I don’t even use the Big ones.
Moving People and FOMO
These Moving People is actually the reason I’m interested in this game. The idea where there is a moving market in the form of these meeple that we can try to catch and increase the value.
For other people, I can see that it can be a bit fiddly and a mess. Especially towards the end of the game where we will move more meeples from one location to another.
Even with just 2 or solo play, one tile can hold like 10 meeples, maybe more at the end of the game. In that case, we probably will have hard time looking at the other information from the tile like the valuation or symbols.
The moving part is not exactly what I had in mind. I thought there will be some way to actively steal those people from other players instead of just when the street is closed down.
Another interesting idea from these meeple is the FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. In this game, we have to place these meeples lay down to indicate that they are hanging out in that spot.
After the place and street is closed down, they will have to move to another place and lay there. However, there is a chance that these meeples won’t find one, the new place with the same type as them.
At that point we have to place them standing up on the previous tile to indicate the FOMO. It means they are ready to move the moment a new building is placed that has the matching type.
Usually, in other games, we really don’t care how we place the meeple as long as they are in the right spot. We can even replace them with cubes because the shape doesn’t matter. This is a bit different as standing or laying downs mean 2 different things.
It’s like tapping a card by rotating 90 degrees to indicate that we have used that card for now. On the other hand, it is possible that we can forget that the meeples were there standing.
Maybe the players keep holding on buildings with the matching type. By the time one player play theirs, it will be far away from where the meeples are standing.
Depending on how the city develops, that street could be a dead one and there is no reason to pay attention to it again. Usually it is not a big deal as we can keep track of which next street is still active.
The problem is usually when there is only one or 2 meeples. Also, with more players and we play in a bigger table, maybe it is easier to spot those standing meeples from afar.
While with 2 players or solo, in a smaller table, we usually look the table from above. In that case, laying down meeple is more visible.
But it got me thinking that maybe the deluxe version where the meeple is not just a single color, they will blend easily with the art from the tile. I don’t know for sure but I can see that can happen.
The next wooden components are the Ownership Tokens. These are those that have shape like a for sale sign but with a dollar icon on it. There will be 25 of these in 5 different colors to support 5 players. All players will get exactly 5 and there will be no way to get more during the game.
The available colors are red, black, white, purple and green. Each of them has a size are identical, which is about 2 cm x 1.7 cm and 0.5 cm.
In this city building game, after we have built a tile or a building, we have to place our Ownership token to that tile. This will indicate that we are the owner of that tile. When the street is closed and we have to sell the property, whoever has that token will get the money based on the valuation from the building.
If then, we run out of these tokens, the next time we build a building, we have to move the token from previous tile. In that case, we are losing our right for that building so we won’t make money when the street is closed.
That means the Ownership Tokens are another resources that we have to manage and that can affect where we build or place the tile. The goal would be to make sure we can get it into a cycle, from build, sell and retrieve back that token.
The moment we have to remove the token not because the street is closed, we are probably playing inefficiently. Since playing a tile or building a building is a must, it is possible that we will run into that situation eventually.
Because each player will only have 5 and the maximum of a street is 5 buildings, more often that not we have to work together a bit with the opponent. If we try to build our own street and close it ourselves, we will need like maybe 7.
With 1 or 2 other players working on the same street, we can share the work. Ideally, we still want to be the one to close the street to have more control as where to move the people. But if not, at least, the opponent will help us retrieve back that token but not in our turn.
Maybe we want to make sure that we have more buildings than the opponents in the closing street so we will get back that tokens more. If there are multiple active streets, that can be one of the considerations to choose the next place to build.
This limit of 5 is also the reason why we probably want to close the street early. Another way to achieve that is, instead of sprawling outwards, we build the next street spiral inwards.
By doing so, it is possible that the tiles from previously closed street will be one of the closing tile of the new one. If we do it correctly, we can even get the benefit of the symbols of that closing tile.
The problem is that it hurts to be the one to steer into that inward direction while the other can just take advantage from it.
If we try to diversify and invest in multiple streets, then, either the next street will be shorter or we have to let go the other building. It is very common even that a street will only have 1 building and we close it immediately.
Those with stand alone valuation and won’t be affected by another building is a good candidate for this.
Maybe letting go one previous building without scoring is not a bad idea.
One of the consideration is how much money we can make from that building. Some of the valuation will give us an exact base value while the others might have additional requirements.
The latter can give higher score potentially, assuming we can fulfill the requirement multiple times. Towards the end of the game, if we know that no tile will be added to the same street as that building, maybe it’s not a bad idea to intentionally use that tile to abandon.
Building with a Wild symbol is also a good reason to be abandon. Usually because it won’t attract any people.
From my experience, more often than not, abandoning is inevitable. Especially if we always try to be the one to close down the street. No tile will be added to that end.
So, maybe it is helpful to know which kind of tile we will need to hold on and just use it later to close the street and abandon. I always forget that this is a game with limited, even fixed number of turns.
The game will eventually end. We won’t be able to keep building and closing the street. With solo or 2 players, using about 30 tiles, usually we can get like 4 close streets and another 4 that are still active.
The solo variant is a bit different compared to 2 players. The opponent in solo variant doesn’t have limited Ownership tokens. In fact, if we let them keep building and we do not close the street and cut their progress, they will score a lot of points at the end.
While with 2 players, both players only have 5. At most, in my solo play, the opponent will take 1 or 2 additional tokens from their initial 5. If we play mostly with lower player count, we can just keep 3 sets and put the other 2 elsewhere.
For standard edition, the money tokens are made of cardboards while the deluxe edition will be wooden with screen printed. There are 6 denominations from $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
The higher the value, the bigger the token size and comes with less amount. Here are the details.
$1: 1.2 x 2.6 cm, green, 30 tokens
$5: 1.3 x 2.8 cm, yellow, 18 tokens
$10: 1.4 x 3 cm, blue, 15 tokens
$20: 1.5 x 3.3 cm, pale green, 12 tokens
$50: 1.6 x 3.5 cm, pink, 6 tokens
$100: 1.7 x 3.7 cm, light green, 6 tokens.
For the cardboard version, they will come in 3 identical cardboard sheets with about 1.5mm thickness and a total of 87 Money Tokens. Each token has a shape and art like a paper money printed on both sides.
We are supposed to store these tokens in the included Money Bag. As I said above, I think the bag is a better option for the wooden tokens but not for cardboards. Especially if we don’t punch out all of the money.
In this game, money is essentially Victory Points. We will only earn them but it is not a resource that we have to manage. At most, we will only return some change or get the higher value.
At the start of the game, we probably only make about $5 or less. However as the game generate more meeple on the board, those meeples will eventually increase the value of each tile to about $20 or less.
In solo game or 2 players, we probably make like less than $200 by the end of the game each maybe even lower than $150. If we use those 2 extra modules, maybe it can add another $100 per player.
So, for me, I only use like one and a half sheet. I didn’t even use any of the $100 since I mostly play with low player counts. Even the $50 is just to trade so the smaller one can return in circulation.
I also don’t think it will go any higher with more players. While we use more tiles but not an incremental amount. More players means each player will get less number of turns.
I wish that the token is a bit thicker. A few of them are also not that easy to punch out from the sheet. Luckily it only ruined the sheet part not the token.
I think the wooden deluxe version is nice but we can easily use another replacement. Maybe like metal coins, as long as we have the same amount and denominations.
We can even simply write down the money or coins for those who don’t really care the tactile aspect of holding those money tokens. For some people, maybe it can give a nice feeling for building those piles of money tokens.
Personally, I think it’s a bit mess as we have to constantly trade the money. As I said, if we only make like $150 by the end of it, that can be just 2 Money tokens, $100 and $50.
The publisher is also selling a separate accessories for wooden money in a chest box which can be used for this game. Find out more about the product from this link.
These are the white tokens with 4 different icons in the game. They have a shape like pinpoint on a digital map with rounded top and pointy at the bottom.
The 4 Business Icons are Restaurant, Residential, Leisure and Retail. Restaurant will have the fork and knife as icon, a house for Residential, a smiley for Leisure and credit card for Retail.
For the standard edition, these are also made of cardboard. They come in 2 cardboard sheets for all 48 business tokens with the same thickness as the money, which is 1.5 mm.
From what I understand, the deluxe version will also come with wooden tokens for this component. I can keep my cardboard version inside the Component trays alongside some money but I don’t know how much space these tokens will take with those wooden pieces.
We will be using these tokens if we play with the Business Icons optional module from the base game. The way it works is, each Building tile will have either one or 2 Business icons at the top left corner.
Everytime the street for that building is closed, the owner can choose to pick the business tokens depicted from their Buildings. If the owner have multiple buildings, they can pick one building. That building can give one specific icon or two of the same icons or a wild icon.
What we will trying to do with these is we have to collect a set. For every set of 4 different icons, we will get additional $10. There is also a majority bonus. The player who has the most tokens of one Business Icon, they will get extra $10 for that icon type. If it’s a tie, tied players will get $5 each.
So, this will increase the complexity of the game a bit. With the basic idea, we will only care about the valuation and colors of the tile. By including this module, we have another thing to consider.
Since we will always get one token, as long as we have building in an enclosed street, we will try to complete our set. Maybe we will also try not to have too many different options in a single street.
We diversify and build a building with different icons on another street. By doing so, we can get both type of Business icons instead of having to choose 1 from multiple options.
On the other hand, maybe we will just try to win the majority from one or two types. This is reasonable because we don’t know the tile we will get. Maybe we keep getting tile with the same type.
Since getting a Business token depends on closing the street, we probably won’t get that many. From my experience, playing mostly solo or 2 players with 4 or 5 closed streets, we will get 4 or 5 business tokens.
That means, we probably only make like 1 set. There will be some extra and that can be the majority we can try to pursue.
From what I understand, these 48 tokens are considered as limited supply. If one type runs out of tokens, players will have to choose a different one. Maybe this will matter more in higher player counts.
If an enclosed street has buildings with 4 or 5 different owners, then players will take more tokens compared to just 2 players.
I personally don’t think this module add much to the game. Mostly because we will still focus on the Valuation and the Color of the tile first. If we have 2 tiles with equally good valuation and colors, only then we start to consider the Business icons.
At least, that’s how I play. The money from valuation can always give more Money while there is a chance to get no score from Business Icons.
Moreover, we will only get Business tokens if the street is closed. For the valuation, we still get at least half the value if the street is not closed by the end of the game.
What’s makes this Business token idea interesting is when we choose to abandon a building. Instead of just losing the ownership of that building, we take the depicted Business Token of that building.
With that idea, abandoning is not just a bad play. We can probably make a plan so that the Business token that we get can be very useful.
The question is what kind of building should we use to abandon and which Business tokens we can get from them?
Of course, this depends on the situation. Most of the time it should happen towards the end of the game, or at least, in the middle, not really early.
The tile that we want to abandon should be on the street that we know won’t be closed by the end of the game. Usually a closing street from the outer most part of the city. Then, we need to consider, how likely we get to fulfill the Valuation requirement of that abandoned building.
An easier choice would be a tile that can give double Business tokens or a Wild Business token. But those with wild icons usually have either strong Valuation or very easy Valuation.
Player Aid Cards
Now, we get to the next type of components, the cards. All cards have the same size, which is 70 x 120mm. The first type of card is the Player Aid Cards.
There will be 5 cards to support 5 players. So, if we play mostly just 2 players, we might not use the rest. Even the solo has its own.
All of these 5 cards are double sided, with one side for the Turn Sequence with the blue border and the other side for Scoring a Street with orange border.
For the Turn Sequence side, the card says that there are 3 steps:
1st. Build a Building. We place a building from hand into the City and put our Ownership token on it. We also place 1 person of matching color for each symbol on it.
2nd. Score Streets. But only if any streets have become enclosed. Then the player aid suggests to read the other side of the card.
3rd. Pick up a New Building. From the stack or face down tile, we take one to replenish our hand of three.
For the Scoring A Street side, the card says that there are also 3 steps:
1st. Score all buildings in Street. We take the money for each Building’s valuation plus $1 per person on that Building. Then, we remove our Ownership sign.
2nd. Move people from that street, which should be done by the current player to buildings of matching color in an active street.
3rd. People get FOMO. Those who don’t have any building with a matching type, will get FOMO. We have to place those meeples standing. The card continues that once a building with a matching color is built, we immediately move those FOMO people to that building.
While the cards are always nice but I think there are better ways to utilize these cards. The game itself is very simple and I don’t think we need 5 of these.
It will make more sense if the reminder is about specific power or it can reveal some strategy if the players are discussing it. What we have here is very general and one player, usually the owner of the game, can become a reminder.
The information here is also only about the base game without the modules. So, it doesn’t say about taking Business tokens during Scoring a street or explaining about how the abandoning works.
It also doesn’t remind us that there is a turn order as how to Score the Street. The way I’ve played for a while is just score from the left most tile to the right most instead of one player resolving their scoring before moving to the next player. I agree that it doesn’t matter, at least with the current tiles.
Another thing that this card should remind us is the way we count symbols from buildings on the street and those pointing to that street. It could also be used to remind us the placement rule of the tile or setup or those 2 modules.
That way, they can use the other 4 cards for those information. Of course, everything can be found in the rulebook. I’m saying that these cards can be the summary so we don’t need to look and search through the entire rulebook just to find one detail.
Solo Mode Player Aid
This next card is a reminder for the solo variant to play Streets. On both sides of the card there is an illustration of Grifter or as the card says GRIFTR, which will be our opponent.
One side of the card is for the SETUP and the other is TURN SEQUENCE. For the Setup, the card says that we should use the 2 player variant setup but with a couple of tweaks.
We have to set aside 3 tiles and keep them face down as the Grifter’s Endgame Stack. Then, we flip the main Stack so it will face up. We also give the Grifter all of the remaining Ownership tokens.
At the bottom there is difficulty setting which is just giving extra money to Grifter at the start. $0 for easy, $20 for normal and $50 for hard.
From the Turn Sequence side, essentially there is only one player turn. However, the turn sequence is a bit different from the basic multiplayer game. We still play a Building and score if we close the Street. However, before drawing one from the stack to replenish our hand, it’s Grifter’s turn.
We take a tile from the top of the Stack and build it for Grifter and place one of their Ownership tokens on it. If that tile close a street, the Scoring occurs as usual.
Only after that, we replenish our hand. At the bottom of the card, it ends with a Tip. If the Grifter has multiple equal options as where to place their tile, we can choose for Grifter and take advantage of that.
My first criticism of this is that I think the illustration from the rulebook for the setup is more informative. It can be better to use that picture on the card instead of having Grifter on both sides.
I even forgot about the difficulty setting for the base game without modules. If we look straight to the Endgame and scoring part in the rulebook, it will just score as normal multiplayer game.
I thought the difficulty settings only happens with the Consultant modules.
For the turn sequence, it should have a reminder about the priority of how we place the tile for Grifter. The priority is where that tile can have the highest valuation at the moment, not potentially.
From the rulebook, there is also an exception for buildings with enclosing valuation which we need to use it to close a street. More specifically, closing the one that can lead to scoring and the Grifter can get the benefit of people moving.
Similar to the tip on the card, the player gets to choose how to split people from multiple Grifter’s buildings of the same type. Lastly, they could have put a reminder of how to resolve when the main stack is empty and resolve the Grifter’s Endgame stack.
This card also doesn’t cover the rules for the 2 modules. To be fair, the rulebook says that the card is just to help for the first couple of plays. But it sounds more like a reminder when a player revisit the game after a while.
They could have added one more card to cover everything, at least from inside the box. But it’s like they only want to provide 1 card and just fill the information they thought would be necessary.
The last type of card from Streets is the Consultant cards. The base game comes with 7 different Consultants, each with its own card.
These are the cards with a Character on the left side, the title of the Consultant on the top right and their ability. Both sides of each card are the same, except one represents the male Character and the other for female version of the same consultant.
For some reasons, the designer is very creative in using different font style for each Consultant’s title.
At the bottom right corner, we can either find a barcode or a symbol. The barcode means nothing but the symbols means the player can add that symbol when scoring their building as if the symbol is on the street.
At the top right corner of some Consultant cards, there will be a player count restriction. That means, we cannot use the Consultant outside those player counts.
We will use these cards only if we want to include the Consultant Module. Each player will take one of these cards and they will have access to that unique ability for the rest of the game, unless stated by the card.
So, this module introduces a Variable Player Power to the game. Only the owner of the card can use that power. These powers will tweak some of the rules and players will have a different strategy based on different Consultants.
We can also include this for the solo variant. But the Grifter will not take any of them. Instead, Grifter will just get additional money from the start from $40, $60 or $90 for easy, normal or hard mode.
There will be no taking the power down or steal them from the opponent. However, we can make a strategy to prevent our opponent from using those power.
About half of these powers happen during Scoring only. The other half changes how we can place a building. So, for the first type, it doesn’t happen that often and the second type is limited to their Ownership tokens.
Because of that limitations, I thought maybe adding this module doesn’t really change the game significantly.
Details of Consultant Cards
Player Count Restriction: 2 – 4
Power: You must Build and Draw 2 buildings on your turns. If Contractor is in the game, setup the Stack as if there was 1 more player, then put 3 random buildings back in the box. After the stack has been emptied, you will play only one building on your turns.
From the clarification in the rulebook, as we have to build 2 buildings every turn, except for the final 3 turns, there is a chance we probably have to abandon more than 1 building.
The contractor will run out of Ownership signs faster. However, maybe the idea is to just build one building, and then close it right after. That way, according to the rulebook, we only use 1 Ownership sign per turn.
If that’s the case, to make the most of this power is not to diversify by building on multiple streets. Maybe it is better to rely on Valuation with fixed valuation like Enclosure or we don’t care to get as many score as we can from a tile.
If we are still pursuing those types of valuation, maybe it’s best to just wait for a street with 4 buildings. Then, we can add to 5 and close it right away. This works for something like Street Size or Copy Valuation.
The opponents must be aware of the risk to keep adding more buildings in the same street. They probably have to be the one to close it to counter this power.
Apparently, we also cannot use Contractor along with the Business Module.
Player Count Restriction: none
Power: When a street is scored you can score one of the Buildings in your hand as if it was in the same position as one of your Buildings in that street. You may not use this ability to score a COPY Valuation building in your hand.
From clarification in the rulebook, we can only use this power once per street. Also, the scoring from hand will not give additional Business token. I assume, similar to Hacker, if the owner of this score the street, they can only use one of 2 tiles in their hand.
Also, when we score the tile in hand, we are replacing not just the valuation but also the symbol from the tile instead of adding them.
I think this one is very flexible but a bit demanding. We have to evaluate tiles in our hand and then examine all of our buildings that are still active to find the best way to score. To make it happen, maybe we should diversify by building in multiple different streets instead of one.
Of course, we don’t try to score as high as possible. Just when the scoring with our building happens, we can just try any of the 3 tiles in hand and find out which one will give the most score.
One good use that I can think of is for buildings with valuation based on people. We still have to play them near the end of the game to the street with the most people of specific color.
Assuming there are some subsequent turns, instead of playing that tile on the street, we can play a different one. Then, we can use the power to score the 2nd time using that tile. After that, we can still play that tile, hopefully by catching all of the people from the previously closed street.
Most of the time, with any tile in hand, we probably still can score something even just a little. We only need to make sure that we are part of the closing street as often as possible.
We probably cannot use Enclosure that often unless we are the one closing the previous street. Adjacency and the Street Size probably have to be played early. Ownership probably doesn’t work if we diversify or signs.
Player Count Restriction: none
Power: You can include Symbols on the backs of Buildings in your hand when Scoring your buildings.
From clarification in the rulebook, if the owner close the street, they will only have 2 tiles in hand which can be used for this power. This is intentional.
First, if there is no scoring or if the owner doesn’t have a building on that closed street, this power is useless. Secondly, even if the owner has one but the Valuation is not based on symbols, this is also useless.
We can at most get 3 additional symbols. If the scoring is based on just a single symbol, we can get like $6. But that is very unlikely for us to have 3 tiles with the same color or all wilds.
For symbol sets, we can either get between additional $5 to $12 per scoring, assuming we have the right valuation. It seems like the game encourage us to build up our own street with those symbols valuations, assuming we get one.
Hold any tile with the Wild symbol and play those with symbol valuation in our own street while placing the other to take advantage of the other player’s effort. I don’t see how the accumulation in our own street can work as the other players can just cut them.
Sure if we can pull it off, we can probably get very high score. Maybe that’s the idea so that we have full hand of 3 tiles by letting the other close the street. Also the randomness of the tile won’t help that strategy.
Player Count Restriction: none
Symbols: Yellow / Hipster
Power: When scoring your Buildings, all Hipster Symbols count as Wild, including the one printed on this card.
From the clarification in the rulebook, we still have to move yellow people to a yellow building. Changing all yellow symbols to wild can be a powerful one. Mostly because we don’t need to rely on tile that has valuation using yellow.
However, we still need tiles with valuation based on symbols, whether just a single symbol or a set of symbols in order to get score. That’s not all. We also still need those yellow symbols from the other tile.
From tiles in the base game, there are about 13 or 14 tiles that don’t have valuation based on symbols. There are also only 8 yellow symbols, including the one from Central station.
So, this one is also very situational. If the player cannot score from Valuation, there is no point on having the power at all. Even the symbol printed on the card is useless.
The only powerful one is if the owner gets the valuation based on Wild symbols. Even that requires yellow symbols from the other tiles to generate score.
Player Count Restriction: none
Power: When claiming a new Building, you may place 2 Ownership Signs on it. This doubles its Valuation. You may only have one such doubled building in play at any time.
From the clarification in the rulebook, this power only double the Valuation score but not the people. It also doesn’t double the Business tokens, if we use that module.
However, if we have to abandon a building that has 2 Ownership signs, we also need to remove both signs. We need to place both signs at the same time, not some turns after the first one.
One weakness for whoever has this is that they will run out of Ownership tokens faster. But they have more flexibility than Contractor as we can choose when to place two.
If the player has a tile that can score based on the number of Ownership signs, Investor power can definitely boost that. The tile itself can give $12 assuming the player owns at least 4 buildings. If then we place another sign on that tile, we get $24 total. This is very unlikely to happen though.
For the other type of Valuation, Enclosure will just give $12 total, $16 for Adjacency, $20 for Street Size. Wild Symbols valuation can give like $56 total, $28 for single symbols and between $30 to $36 total from Symbol sets.
For valuation based on people, if we can play them later, there will be more people on the Street. If each people can give $2 and there are 10 of the same color, we can get a total of $40 using Investor.
The interesting one would be the COPY valuation. Especially because we could get the benefit of the opponent’s power. Let’s say the opponent is using Location Scout power and they added all 4 symbols to the streets and can get a lot of points. Using Investor and Copy building, we can double the score.
So, this can be a very powerful one. Their opponents need to be aware of it, but mostly when either the Copy or when they place 2 signs.
Player Count Restriction: none
Power: When scoring your Buildings, you can include Symbols on Buildings you own in other Streets. This cannot be used during the End of the Game Scoring.
So, if I understand correctly, we can add symbols from up to 4 other buildings, assuming all 4 of them are on different streets.
This one is a bit tricky to take advantage of. Since it relies on having at least one Ownership signs on different street, we have to diversify a bit then. Before we start scoring from a street, we need to play one tile on different street that we think can give additional symbols.
Not every valuation will be based on symbols. That’s another thing to consider. Maybe we can then use those for the additional symbol.
An easier option would be to keep an Ownership sign on a tile with Wild symbol. That way, it will be more flexible, especially if the Valuations require more than 1 symbol to score.
If we play with this one, we want to be in as many scoring as we can, making sure that we are playing those tiles with symbol related Valuation. The thing is, there is no guarantee that we can get those tiles.
We might end up getting the other type for the entire game. So, this one is situational with several layers of requirements.
According to the rulebook, the tile on the other street could also be the enclosing street. In that case, the symbols pointing to the closing street will count twice. That can be handy.
So, not only we need to be in the scoring, we probably have to be the one to close the street as well to get the most of this power.
The rulebook also mentioned that in the case where one tile can enclose 2 streets at the same time, the order of street to score first can affect this Location Scout power. It’s because we have to remove Ownership signs from the closing street and therefore we cannot add the symbols again.
I think this rarely happens. Even if the order matters, I think whoever close both streets gets to choose which street to score first.
Player Count Restriction: 3 – 5
Power: You may build Buildings on top of Buildings in Enclosed Streets. They will score immediately.
The clarification in the rulebook says that we cannot use this power to override Central Station. We also need to place the building in the same orientation as the the Buildings they are built on top of.
While we are building in an Enclosed Streets but the FOMO people can then move to this building. However, since it will score immediately, the people will become FOMO right away.
We can also build on a building that still has some FOMO people on it. If we do so, we are chasing those people away and have to move those people to Central Station, still in FOMO.
Since we are building in an enclosed street, some Valuations may not give that much score. Valuation that are based on people will be limited to people still in FOMO in that street.
This could be something towards the end of the game but very situational.
Valuation based on Ownership signs is probably the least useful for this Consultant. By doing so, we will only get 1 Ownership token which is in that building.
Street size is easy to execute. We just need to find an enclosed street with 5 buildings. Adjacency depends on how the city is developed. We should wait until later in the game while trying to make one building surrounded in 8 directions.
So, that means the Valuation that are based on Symbols are the easiest to target as they stay for the rest of the game. It’s just everytime we draw a tile with that symbols valuation, we have to start examining the board or streets to find the best placement.
I guess the best part of this power is that we won’t run out of Ownership tokens if we use the power. It will immediately return to us. So, even if we only score very little from the Valuation, maybe getting the token back right away helps a lot.
Apparently, we also cannot use Renovator along with the Business Module.
This is the last type of components from Streets. These are the Building Tiles that we will play them to create the city collectively.
Compared to other tile laying games, these tiles are huge. The size of these square tiles are about 6.9 x 6.9 cm with less than 2mm thickness. From the base game, we get a total of 47 Building Tiles.
Two of them are starting Tiles, which are the City Park and Central Station. We will always use them at the start of any game.
40 of them will be used either all of them for 4 player game or we have to remove some for lower player count. Then, they include another 5 tiles to make a total of 45 tiles for the 5 player game. The additional tiles for 5 player game are marked with 5+ at the bottom right corner.
For 2 players or solo, we have to remove 10 out of 40 with 2 tiles per symbols. If we play with 3, we have to remove 4 tiles, one of each 4 main color.
In this game, players will start with a hand of 3 tiles. Each turn, they play one and immediately draw one to replenish, until the stack is empty.
That means, for 2 players or solo, each player will have like 15 turns or tiles to place. 12 for 3 players and 10 for 4 players and 9 for 5 players. So, with more players the less number of turns they will get, even if they use more tiles overall.
Some people might say that they could have been just cards with card stock instead of cardboard. However, there is an issue with the size and how they will take table space as the game progresses. We don’t know the direction that the city will grow or sprawl out to.
If we have limited table space, eventually we have to move or rotate the City so they stay fit in the table. By using cardboard tiles, assuming in a flat surface, we can just push the row or column to move them. We cannot do that with just cards.
As mentioned in the Meeples section above, we will also be placing those meeples on any of these tiles. It will be a nightmare to move those tiles with something on it if they are just cards.
That is like one of the biggest issue of this game. For some people, the box is considered as a small box. Yet, the game can take a lot of table space. That unexpected sprawling direction can also happen in other tile laying games but usually the tiles are smaller than this.
I feel like sometimes it can even affect where we will place the next tile. That spatial position can matter for some scorings, not just within the street but anything adjacent to the tile. Also, how we close the street depends on the state of this board as we can use tiles from previous streets to close one end.
We can still be flexible for the most part but I can see that people who are very strict with rules, they won’t accept that.
In general, each tile will depict a single building or cityscape with the title that describes the name of the building on top. The art at the center are done by the designer himself which is nice for the most part.
Personally, there are some that I don’t really like that much. Usually those with 3D rendering buildings among most tile with cartoon or animated style. Some people said that they don’t like the Hipster setting or theme.
Almost every tile has unique set of information. There are like 2 tiles per color that have identical copy. The buildings will have a corresponding color with the symbol so, from afar, we can tell just by looking at the building. Those with Wild symbols will be more colorful.
For the most part, we will not care that much about the art. The illustration doesn’t have thematic ties with the Valuation or Scoring condition which is the most important part of the tile. But some illustrations definitely stand out.
The title at the top will have the same color as the Symbol of that tile with gray for the Wild symbol. At the top left corner, we can find the Business Icons of that tile if we play with that module. From 45 tiles in the base game, there are only 2 tiles with 2 Business icons in a single tile. The others only show one.
I don’t know why but the total amount of Business icons for Leisure and Restaurant are definitely higher than the other 2 even if just one more. They could have used the same amount by having the double for the Residential and Retail.
Right next to the tile, at the top right corner is the Valuation or Scoring Conditions that the player can get from that tile. Below the title there is a single line to describe what the Valuation means.
The illustrations are depicted as if we are looking at a building from the street in front of them. At the bottom part of the tile is the street that will connect tiles.
A Street in this game means Tiles that are placed in the same orientation next to each other. Any street can only have up to 5 buildings or tiles with that same orientation. We can close the street by placing the next tile rotated 90 degrees where the Street section will create an intersection. But that is just how players can actively close the street. An enclose tile just means that the tile will be placed in a different orientation.
In the middle bottom of the tile, we can find the Symbol or color of that building. Usually there is only 1 symbol and each color will have 2 tiles that will give 2 symbols of the same color from tiles in the base game.
These symbols at the bottom represents the color and number of meeples that the tile will generate. The exception is the Wild symbols as they won’t generate or attract anybody. These symbols also indicate the tile that will attract the meeple in FOMO state of the matching color right after the tile is placed.
If we play with all 40 tiles, each color will generate a total of 10 meeples in the City, plus 1 more with the 5th player tiles. So, having 12 meeples for each tile is more than enough. That also give good idea for the Valuation that are based on number of meeples of certain color.
These symbols at the bottom also have an arrow pointing to the bottom. What that means is any street pointed by these symbols will include those symbols when we have to close the street and do scoring.
Thematically, the building in the intersection can also increase the land value of that street. In general, this only matters when we enclose the street by creating intersection.
However, pointy symbols from the tiles in the middle of the street can still contribute their score to future streets. That is assuming the street is placed as an intersection of that tile.
Back of the tiles and Player Interaction
The back side of the tile will have a Building Symbol that represents the group of people that the building attracts.
They can either be Blue symbol (Shopper), Yellow (Hipster), Green (Parents), Pink (Tourist) or Wild symbol that can be any of those 4. In this game, players will draw those tiles and they will become hand of tiles that they need to keep secret.
However, the back will show this symbols. This is intentional. It encourages players to take them as consideration. They don’t know the exact tile but that can give some prediction as where the opponents will place the building next.
I have to say that from my one play with another player, I didn’t even think to look at them. The actual information we can get from symbols on the back is the color of meeple that the tile will generate and the Symbols that will be added to the street.
If we are not scoring for either that exact color of meeple or based on that exact color of symbols, we might not care that much. The similar goes with the opponent holding that tile.
If they don’t have any active tile that can score either based on meeple or color, they probably won’t add anything to that same street. Other than those 2 scoring conditions, unless we know the exact tile and their scoring conditions, we are just guessing and it is not a good way to play in my opinion.
In theory, giving that information might be interesting but in practice, it doesn’t work that well. Plus, it is a bit annoying to keep asking the other player to reveal the back side of their tiles. Mostly because they can easily just put then in their hand in a stack.
Those symbols on the back is not the only player interaction. The real interaction is after the tiles are placed in the City. Then, players can decide to either take advantage or cut them out based on the scoring conditions of that tile.
City Park and Central Station
As I said before that these are the 2 Starting tiles that we will use in any game of Streets. We will place the City Park as if it creates an intersection to the Central Station or enclose the street that the Central Station is in.
Players can then play their tiles by extending the street of the Central Station or extending the street of City Park. Technically, anybody can immediately close the Central Station and we should score from that street. But if only Central Station is there, nobody will get score.
The Central Station has 4 Symbols at the bottom of 4 different color. It also will generate 4 meeples of that matching 4 colors. I think this setup is a good reminder of how we play the game if we revisit the game after a while. But that is if we do not forget to add meeples at the start.
This setup opens 3 places the player can play their tile on. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it gives alternative instead of just playing next to the Station. But then, it kind of defeat the purpose for a game where we will need to take advantage of other players.
In solo mode, I find it almost never extend the City Park. Maybe similar goes to 2 players unless the player doesn’t know that they will run out of Ownership tokens if they build their own street.
I think it is because of the randomness of the tile, the last player in turn order can end up just helping the first player. If the first player can just play something with symbols as valuation, any tile added after that can just boost the result. So, having alternative is necessary for maybe more players.
The problem that can happen with that idea is that the game will have to continue in multiple directions as other players have invested on different street. That can end up players playing on their own street alone while the game is about interacting on the same street.
Even with just 1 or 2 players trying always to compete on the same street, the sprawling will still happen.
I wonder if we do need the City Park at all. If the goal is to give placement alternative, we can just place any tile to enclose the station in the same spot as that City Park. The City Park itself doesn’t have any symbol so what matters is the tile next to it.
Both City Park and Central Station tiles don’t have any symbol on the back. Instead it will have identical art and information as the front side.
Valuation / Scoring Conditions
The base game has about 9 different type of Valuation or Scoring Conditions in those 45 basic tiles, including those for 5th player. There will be some more from Kickstarter Promo Pack and maybe future expansions.
The Valuation is how we can get money or score in this game. They will be the main consideration why we want to place the tile on the street in specific position and in certain orientation.
Here are all of the Valuation types we can find from tiles in the base game of Streets.
People Valuation. This is based on the number of meeples in that street with the matching color. There are 4 buildings with this Valuation type, one for each color. All of them are from Wild Symbols so the tile itself won’t generate any meeple.
Each meeple is worth $2. Since each color can generate a total of 10 meeples, towards the end of the game, we can get a total of $20. But that means we have to hold any of these to the end.
It is really not that easy to pull it off, especially with more players. We have to constantly be the one to close the street in order to take control of these meeples.
Single Symbol Valuation. Each symbol from any of 4 colors is worth $2 from this Valuation. There are a total of 16 Buildings with this Valuation types and each color will have 4, in which 2 of them are identical.
Of those 2, one will have a single symbol with a matching color and the other will have 2 symbols of a different color. The pair of color is blue – pink and green – yellow.
This one is very easy to score but we probably only get a total of up to 7 symbols for $14. What makes them easy is probably Wild symbols.
Symbol Sets Valuation. Similar to previous type of Valuation, this is also based on Symbols but they require 2 Symbols to gain money. The pair can be from the same color and worth $6 or with 2 different colors and worth $5 per set.
There are 6 buildings in this category, in which four are pairs with different colors and the other two for the same color. The different color pairs are Blue- Yellow, Blue – Pink, Pink – Yellow and Green – Yellow.
One of the color will be the symbol of that building. So, we need to find the other half of the pair to get $5.
For pairs with same colors are only Green and Pink and they also cross the symbol’s color on their building. So, on their own, they will not generate any money. We need one with 2 symbols or two with one each.
If the street has 5 buildings and enclosed by two others and each building only has one symbol, we probably only get 3 or 4 pairs and get $15 or $20. There is no guarantee that all buildings can contribute to that Valuation as our opponents will try to prevent that.
Wild Symbol Valuation. Similar to other Symbol Valuation but this one requires specifically Wild Symbols. The other color will not give any money. Each Wild Symbol is worth $4 with this Valuation.
There are only 2 buildings with this Valuation and both have either Pink or Yellow symbols. So, on their own, they won’t generate money as well.
Technically, we can probably only get 6 symbols and gain $24 but that is very unlikely to happen. This will work well with the Hipster Legend Power as long as we can get the Yellow symbols.
Ownership Signs Valuation. From this, we will get $3 for each building that we own in Street when scoring begins. There are only 2 Buildings with this valuation from the base game. One of them has Blue Symbol and the other has Green. These two are the only 2 buildings with double Business icons.
In a street, we can only have up to 5 Ownership signs so we can get up to $15. But in that case, we don’t have more token left to even close the street unless the opponent is willing to help. Why would they want to do it?
So, in practice we can only have up to 4 and get $12. But if 2 of them have this valuation, we can get $24. Assuming we are very lucky to get them both, we should try to play them in the same street. Even with just 2 of them will generate $12. In that case, the opponent has to cut off immediately.
Since we have to remove the Ownership sign after scoring the building, the rule suggests to score this Valuation as the first one. Technically, if we score this the last, we cannot count the other signs that have been removed.
Street Size Valuation. This will give score from the number of buildings in the same street regardless of the owners. That means we can only get up to $10 from 5 buildings.
We might want to wait for a street to have 4 and play this as the fifth. Once we play this one, the opponent will have to cut it off. So, if we know that the opponent is trying to accumulate something in that street, maybe it’s a good time to play this tile.
From the base game, there are two buildings with this valuation and both of them have Wild symbols and wild Business tokens.
Adjacency Valuation. From this one, we will get score or money from any adjacent tiles from this building. It can be orthogonally and diagonally and they don’t have to be in the same street.
For that, any tile can get a total of 8 adjacent tiles. If each of them is worth $2, we can get up to $16 from this Valuation. This is a bit hard to play well, especially of all players try to sprawl the city in their own directions.
The intersection would be the best bet to place this building. In that case, it is very unlikely to get all 8. Not because it won’t be surrounded by the end of the game but when the street for this building is closed, at most, we can probably get like 4 buildings and get $8.
Maybe this works well with Contractor strategy. But, by the time we see this one placed as an enclosing street, we have to try cut them off immediately.
For this valuation, the base game also only has 2 Buildings. Both of them have Wild symbol and Wild Business token.
Enclosure Valuation. This is the simplest one. We will get $6 if this tile is enclosing another street.
There are 4 buildings with this Valuation, one for each color. Technically, we don’t have to create intersection using this and the enclosed street. As long as this tile is placed in one end of the street that doesn’t extend that street, it counts as being Enclosure.
For example, we already have a street. Instead of playing this one to close that street, we play a different one. Then, next to that enclosure, we can play this, with creating another street that intersect with this one in mind later.
I think that can be a better way to use this Valuation. It encourages us to start another street or it won’t get any points. But it really depends on the other 2 tiles we have in our hand.
If that building’s street is closed before we create an intersection, we won’t get any points. As far as I know the street that this building encloses doesn’t have to be closed on both ends for this to generate points.
On the other hand, the opponent is probably not going to help us to create that intersection. In fact, we are giving away our plan and they can just cut it off before we create that intersection.
Copy Valuation. This is probably a bit tricky. It actually allows us to just Copy the Value not the Valuation of another building in the same street. So, if another building can generate $10 for its position, we still get that same $10 even if this Copy Building has different position.
Different owner of those buildings doesn’t matter. So we can copy the other player’s valuation. Especially in just 2 players or solo, this one is basically canceling the opponent’s effort. If the opponent gets a lot of points from Valuation, then we can just copy that as if both players don’t get anything at all.
So, it’s a counter when somebody try to build up something. We need to keep this and wait to play it at the right time.
There are 2 buildings from the base game with this Valuation. One of them is Yellow and the other is Blue.
That is it with all of the components from the base game of Streets. We can now learn how to play.
How to Play
Streets is a competitive game for 1 to 5 players. For the solo variant, the gameplay is a bit different. I will discuss it in a separate section below.
For the multiplayer game, the difference is only in the number of tiles that we will use. The gameplay remains the same. Players will go through that number of tiles and the game ends.
This next video is the official tutorial by Gaming Rules! channel for the multiplayer variant and just the base game.
1st. Take the CENTRAL STATION TILE and CITY PARK TILE. Place them next to each other and rotate the CITY PARK 90 degrees so that the street part of both tiles create an intersection.
These will be the Starting Tiles of the City. Players can place their next tile next to the Central Station or on either side of the City Park Tile. As the city expands, it will take a lot more table space but we don’t know in which direction from this starting point.
2nd. Place 1 MEEPLE of each color and lay them down on the Central Station Tile. Then, place the remaining Meeples in the tray as the SUPPLY on the table where any player can reach.
3rd. Place all of the MONEY TOKENS on the table to create a general supply for the money where any player can reach.
4th. Each player takes 5 OWNERSHIP SIGNS of one color and put them on the table in front of them.
5th. Create the BUILDING STACK. There are 40 Basic Building Tiles in the base game and 5 extra Tiles for the 5th Player. Depending on the number of players, we will have to remove some of them.
5 Players: Use all 40 Basic Building Tiles + 5 Tiles for 5th players. So, we will use 45 Tiles.
4 Players: Use all 40 Basic Building Tiles.
3 Players: From 40 Basic Building Tiles, remove 1 Basic Building Tile of each type except for the Wild type. So, we will be using 36 Tiles.
2 players: From 40 Basic Building Tiles, remove 2 Random Basic Building Tiles of each type (10 in total). So, we will be using 30 Tiles.
We can return the unused tiles to the box and they will not be used in the game. Shuffle all of the tiles that we will be using and put them face down on the table where everyone can reach.
6th. As the Starting Hand, each player draw 3 BUILDING TILES from the Stack.
7th. Each player may take 1 PLAYER AID CARD and put the card on the table in front of them.
That’s the setup for the base game. If we want to use the extra optional modules, here are a few extra step for the setup.
8th. For using the Business Module, place all of the BUSINESS TOKENS on the table to create a supply where everyone can reach.
9th. For the Consultant Module, each player take 1 random CONSULTANT CARD and put the card on the table in front of them. Some Consultant cards only work in certain player count as indicated at the top right corner of each card. We can return the unused cards back to the box.
Players can choose the starting player. Now, we are ready to begin.
In a game of Streets, beginning with the Starting player in clockwise order, players will take turns placing one tile. If there are still tiles in the stack, that player immediately draw one back until the stack runs out of tiles.
After placing a tile, the tile can trigger the Scoring the Street where players can earn some Money Tokens and Business Tokens. At the end of the game, there will be one more Scoring for the remaining active Street for half the value.
Whoever has the most money at the end of the game is the winner.
Build a Building Phase
In this phase, the active player plays one tile from their hand and put it in the City area on the table. There are several rules that players need to follow for placing a tile.
1st. Players have to place the tile next to a Building Tile already in the City, including Central Station and City Park.
2nd. Players have to place the tile in an orientation where either end of the road or street part of the tile is connected to the same part of the tile already in the City.
3rd. A street can only have up to 5 buildings with the same orientation connected by the road or street.
With this rule, that next tile can either extend the street or enclose the street by creating an intersection. We are not allowed to just make the road wider by connecting the long side of the road of both tiles.
After placing that tile, the player must place one of their Ownership Signs on that tile. If the player doesn’t have any free Ownership signs in their supply, they must ABANDON BUILDING and take the sign from the other tile of theirs in the City. More about abandoning buildings below.
Then, they also need to take the meeple from the supply with the matching symbols of that tile and put them lying down on the tile. One meeple for each symbol. Wild Symbol doesn’t generate any meeple.
That is it with the building phase. If that action triggers enclosing a street, then players proceed to SCORING A STREET phase. Otherwise, that player draw one tile from the stack to replenish their hand and their turn is over.
NOTE FOR CONSULTANTS: Players who have either Renovator, Investor or Contractor can use their power during this phase.
Abandoning a Building
If the active player doesn’t have any Ownership sign in their supply, they must abandon a building first before placing a new tile. Abandoning a building means, they take off their Ownership Sign from any of their other buildings that still has that sign.
Then, they place a new building in the city and put the Ownership sign to it.
In that case, that player won’t get score from that abandoned building. Also, the player has to move any Meeple on that abandoned building to a new location with a matching color or symbol type.
It is possible that the new location will be in that same active street, possibly owned by another player. If there is none, then, these People will become FOMO. More about the FOMO below.
NOTE: If we play with the Business Icon Module, the player gets to take Business Token depicted by the abandoned building. So, if we plan ahead a tile that we know we will actually abandon, maybe it’s not a bad idea just to get the right Business token.
Scoring a Street Phase
This phase can happen after the active player has placed their tile to the City and before they draw a new one from the Stack. For the scoring phase to happen, any of the Street must be in enclosed situation.
A Street is considered as enclosed if both ends of the Street have buildings with a different orientation. Several streets can become enclosed at the same time. When that happens, the active player gets to choose which street to score first.
Scoring means each player will sell their buildings in that street and take both the money value and the ownership signs. The active player can start scoring their buildings first and going clockwise.
To calculate the Money value of the Building, each building has a Valuation or Scoring Condition at the top right corner of each tile. The explanation of that Valuation is right below the title.
The Valuations can have different requirements. That can be based on Symbols or sets of Symbols, Street Size, Number of People in the Street, Adjacency, by being Enclosure, number of Ownership Signs by the same owner or Copy of Valuation of another building in that same street.
NOTE: for Valuations based on Symbols, we also need to include symbols that are pointed to the Street by an enclosing building of that street.
The score from valuation can be $0 if the building doesn’t fulfill the requirement. Some can have fixed amount and the others can be incremental amount.
But that is not the only way to get score. For every meeple on that tile or building, the value is increased by $1.
Each player calculate the value of their buildings individually. They will then take the Money from the supply and take the Ownership Sign from that building.
After all players have taken back their Ownership signs from that street, the active player gets to choose where to move the Meeple from that street to an active, non enclosed street. More about Moving People and FOMO below.
NOTE for Consultants: if we play with the Consultant module, players who has either Location Scout, Hipster Legend, Entrepreneur, or Hacker can use their power during Scoring.
Moving People/Meeple and FOMO
After scoring a street, if that street has people on it, those people must be moved to an Active street or non enclosed street if possible. But they can only move to buildings with the matching color or symbol type but not Wild.
If there are multiple buildings with the matching color, the active player can choose where to move these people to. These people can also move to an abandoned building, assuming that building is still in an active street.
In the case that there is no matching building in any active street, those people will become FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. For people or meeple with FOMO, we place them still on the same tile but standing.
It means they are ready to move. The moment a new building with the matching color is placed in the city, those people will move to that building.
Everytime People get moved, even after being FOMO, we place them lying down on the new building, even if that building is abandoned.
Taking Business Tokens (Before Scoring a Street)
If we play with the Business Icon module, everytime a street is closed, all players who have a building in that street will get one or more Business Tokens. They can take the Business icon indicated at the top left corner of their tile.
If that player has multiple buildings in that street, they will need to choose one tile That tile can give one or two Business Icons and the player will take that same amount of tokens.
If the Building has a Wild Business Icon, the player gets to choose any of the 4 Business Icon.
There are two goals with this module. Either having a set of 4 different Business Icons for $10 each or winning the majority compared to other players by having the most of one type of Business Icons.
Player who has the most of one icon will get additional $10. If there are tied players for having the most of one type, those players will get $5 each. Players get these extra money bonus during the End Game Scoring.
End of the Game
Players will always have 3 tiles in their hand at the start of their turn until the Stack is empty. That signals the end of the game and players will continue taking turns, placing one tile at a time until their hand is empty.
Scoring a street can still happen during the last three turns. When the last player finishes their turn, the End Game Scoring begins.
End Game Scoring is similar to Scoring a Street for the remaining active street. The difference is that each player only gets half of the value rounding up.
If we play with the Business Icon Module, players get the Bonus for winning the Majority of each type and Bonus for having a complete set of 4 different icons each.
Players add those score and whoever has the most Money is the winner. In the case of two or more players are tied, the rule suggest those players playing another game of Street to determine the winner.
That is it with how to play Streets with multiple players.
For the official solo variant, player will be competing against the bot opponent, the Grifter to get the most money. The gameplay and setup is similar to the regular, multiplayer mode with a couple of changes.
As a setup, we will be using the same setup as in 2 player variant. That means, we will be using 30 tiles. From those 30 shuffled, face down tiles, we draw 3 to create the GRIFTER ENDGAME STACK and put them in separate stack face down as well.
The player will also take 3 tiles as the starting hand. After that, we FLIP THE MAIN STACK UPSIDE DOWN, so they will be face up. That means, we know exactly the next tile to play.
We will go through this stack and once the stack is empty, we enter the final three turns. At that point, the player will not draw a new tile to replenish their hand and the Grifter will start using the Grifter Endgame Stack.
Once every tile has been played, the game is over and we will go to the Endgame Scoring like in the regular mode.
The player will take a set of 5 Ownership Signs while the opponent will use the rest of the Ownership Signs as if they have no limit. Both the player and Grifter will collect their own Money and Business Tokens.
Depending on the difficulty setting, Grifter will start the game with $0 for easy, $20 for Normal and $50 for Hard.
If we play using the Consultant Module, player takes any of Consultant with the exception for Renovator and Contractor. Grifter will not use any Consultant but instead Grifter will start with additional money, $40 for easy, $60 for normal and $90 for Hard.
We can also use the Solo Reference card as a reminder.
That’s the setup for the solo mode, and we are ready to play the game.
This next video from the publisher is the solo playthrough of Streets, done by the designer himself on Tabletop Simulator.
The gameplay of the solo variant is still similar to the regular mode. However, instead of player and Grifter have separate turns, they integrate both as a single turn. Here is the turn sequence.
One. Player Builds a Building. This works exactly like in multiplayer game. We place a tile to the city, put our Ownership sign and any people attracted by the tile.
Two. Score a Street. This also works exactly like in multiplayer game.
Three. Build a Building for Grifter. This is where it is different. Take the top tile of the main stack and place that tile in the City. Then place one of the Grifter’s Ownership sign and people on it like in regular mode.
Four. Score a Street enclosed by Grifter’s building. This is similar to any Scoring a street phase.
Five. Player Draws a building from Stack to their hand. This also works exactly like in multiplayer game.
So, if we follow this sequence, at the start of our turn, we can look at the top of the main stack and that would be Grifter’s next tile. We can take that into consideration to make decision as where to play the tile from our hand.
We are not allowed to look the next tile we will draw to our hand before placing Grifter’s building. It’s like we have to make decision for Grifter right before we play the tile in our hand.
When placing a tile for Grifter, Grifter only cares about getting the most points from the Valuation of their next tile. It doesn’t matter if this next tile can increase the scoring of the previous tiles.
If there are several options with equal Valuations when placing Grifter’s building, the player gets to choose. The rule encourages player to take advantage of that.
The exception to this rule is if the Grifter gets a building with Enclosure Valuation. These must be placed so that the tile becomes an Enclosing Building. If there are multiple equal options for this, Grifter will choose the one that will cause the most People to be moved to Grifter’s building.
For scoring a Street, it works similarly as in multiplayer game. Grifter will take the money from Valuation plus each meeple on their building and remove the Ownership sign. The same also for moving people and FOMO in favors to Grifter.
However, if Grifter has multiple buildings to move the people to, player gets to choose how to split them up. The rule also encourages player to take advantage of it.
During both of the Scoring phase, player only has up to 2 tiles in their hand. This matters for several Consultants.
NOTE FOR BUSINESS MODULE. Like in regular mode, during Scoring a street, Grifter will choose one of their Building and take the depicted Business Token.
Grifter will take the one type they have the least of. If there are multiple equal option, player gets to choose.
When the main or face up Stack is empty, we flip Grifter Endgame Stack. Grifter will use that remaining 3 tiles in their final 3 turns while we play the remaining tiles in hand until the hand is empty and the game is over.
The End Game Scoring works the same as in regular mode where both player and Grifter will only get half the value of their remaining Buildings. Grifter will get score with all of buildings with their Ownership signs regardless of the color.
Letting them use as many Ownership signs as possible might not be a good idea for the End Game Scoring. Also don’t forget that Grifter may start with additional money based on difficulty setting and whether we use Consultant module.
Whoever score the most is the winner. That is it with how to play the solo variant of Streets.
My Experience and Thoughts
From my personal experience after playing a couple of tabletop games, there were some moments that the game design inspire me certain ideas or gameplay mechanisms. Maybe I can design one if nobody has done it before.
For me, the idea that I found in streets is that idea of moving people or moving market and change the value. One player can build something that attracts a number of people and if we can build right next to it, maybe we can get some spill because that first building is full.
So, it’s not really the same idea but it got my attention. After hearing that I immediately decided to buy the game and try. Maybe there are already other games with similar idea but I don’t know how to find out about that.
Up to this point, I’ve only played this game with 2 players once and the rest of my play is the solo variant. As I said somewhere above, I was really surprised with the solo variant of this.
I thought any bot or AI action must be random, whether determined by a dice roll or by flipping a card. If we know what their next move is, I thought we can easily take advantage of it and the game would be too easy.
That is not really the case with the solo variant of Streets. It is not that easy.
We only know about the Grifter’s next move but we don’t know the subsequent tiles. There were a couple of times when I thought I played well and it turned out the Grifter got some Copy Valuation and get a lot of points from me.
In that case, after I know that they will get that Copy Valuation, there is a chance that we have to abandon our plan. We have to kind of hold the tile in our hand and make sure that the Grifter will not copy that much money.
Another surprise can come from Valuation based on the number of people, especially near the end of the game. Mostly because that is also my strategy so the opponent can get the same result from my effort.
So, with this system, it is a very engaging experience all the time and yet can be surprising. This made me realize that I enjoy this type of solo system where I don’t know everything but I need to know something about the opponent’s next move.
Not a complete information, but enough to make a decision from it. Somehow, the surprise can also happen in multiplayer game. I remembered that my friend managed to close a street in the last turn but he didn’t realize that he had to send the people to my building.
There are surprising things like that in this game.
I think the solo variant is a better way to play this game compared to the multiplayer mode. Mostly because we know that next tile. In multiplayer game, all we know is the symbol on the back of tiles.
I already mentioned above that because they are in other player’s hand, sometimes we cannot see. It is also annoying to ask them to reveal the back of their tiles. From my one play with 2 players, I didn’t even think about checking those out from my opponent’s hand.
Even if I ask and know the symbols, there is no guarantee that they will play right away. Those symbols can only help if we are trying to score using a Symbol Valuation but not the others.
It’s like the game expects the player to explore all of the tiles and their combinations of symbols and Valuation. I don’t even want to do that.
My first thought about this game is that this can be considered as a next step from game like Jaipur or Mandala. Not only about the scoring that can happen in the middle of the game but the other similarity is the timing aspect.
Both of those games are for 2 players only and Streets can have that experience with 2 players. The additional thing from those two is the spatial element. I like that aspect but I can see how people may not like that additional consideration or even see it.
For me, I immediately can see that we need to steer the street development into inward direction. So that the previous street can become another enclosing one. Some people may not know that and just let the city sprawl which can be a bad experience.
On the other hand, I have to admit that maybe the direction of how the city develops can be a bit limited. But I can still find interesting tricks by keeping short streets.
That is one thing that I love with tile laying games is that we don’t need to visualize. We can just place the tile, rotate them to find the best position and orientation like trial and error. Even though, we might be revealing or tiles to the opponent.
Not that we need to care about the shape of how the city is developed but I think it relies on the variety of Valuations. There are only about 9 Valuations from the base game and a couple more from Promo Pack.
I wish the designer can come up with more Valuation ideas. Especially Valuations where the spatial aspect matters more than just collecting symbols. Maybe a building where they can get score by being nearby an Enclosure or intersection.
Or tiles that can get score by being in the middle of the Street, or in certain position from left to right. There are a lot of spatial scoring conditions that they can explore. I thought about buildings with multiple types of Valuations but the text will take a lot of space on the tile.
The promo pack has some interesting valuations but sadly, since they don’t work in solo variant, I don’t know how much they will change the game. While the rest of the valuations are variants from the base game.
I feel like by using tiles from the Promo Pack significantly increase the amount of people that we will use. This can also affect the score but maybe not the gameplay or strategy.
The Business Icon module is a bit weak in my opinion. As I said above, it’s like they want us to change how we play the tile. Maybe playing tiles with the same icon in the same street so that we don’t have to choose differently. But it’s not that I can choose which tile I would get.
Maybe it will be more interesting with more players so that we have to compete with more players to win the majority of each type. Otherwise, we will have to consider the Valuation of the tile as the main priority for where and when to place the tile.
It also depends on whether we can close the street or not. At most we will get up to 2 set of different Business Icons. Maybe the same number of tokens but not exactly two complete sets. That is also in 2 players or solo.
Higher player counts while they will use more tiles but each player only gets to play less number of tiles. So, even if all of them can score an Icon, it doesn’t mean we will get more. It seems like the module encourages us to just play a tile and immediately close it. But I don’t think it is a good way to play. Maybe towards the end when we have limited Ownership signs but not really a tactic from the start of the game.
The Consultants can also have the same issue, especially the Consultants who can only use the power if scoring happens and the player has a building in that street. I honestly not a big fan of this situational power. It is possible that we forget to even use it in the whole game.
The exception is probably the Consultants whose power are limited to Ownership signs. But they don’t always work with any player count.
I feel like there is a potential to change the strategy by using these Consultants but they are still situational. More over, the situational part also depends on luck of the draw, What if we don’t get tile with Symbols valuation at all for the Consultants with that related power?
I also don’t care the difficulty setting in the solo mode. It doesn’t change the gameplay. Basically, we will be playing the same game and we can just compare the score, see if we manage to beat the Hard Mode with the extra money for the opponent.
Entrepreneur Power is probably the easiest to use even if it doesn’t mean it will score more than the others. Even I forgot that I cannot use a Copy building with that power.
Nowadays, some people criticize that some games are multiplayer solitaire where people are busy with their own player board and no player interaction. This is not that. However, I can see that there is a possibility of doing so even in the communal board.
Players can just build their own street and close it on their own instead of competing in the same street. If that’s really the case, the game can be very boring especially with higher player count.
Let’s say, there are 3 players, two of them are competing in the same street while the other one is doing their own thing. The two players close the street, busy with calculating the score while that one player has to wait because it is not that one player’s business. That can be very boring for that one player.
So, if players come and play this game with that mindset, they might not have a good experience. They have to compete and the interaction is what makes this game interesting.
Another issue that most people will find is the table space. The issue is more about that we cannot predict in what direction that the city will grow. This is true for some communal tile laying games but it’s even worse here as the tile is so big.
We probably don’t need that large table space. Maybe 60 x 90 cm is enough and there are other games that take bigger space. The problem is that we have to move, rotate the board and also move all of the tokens and trays and even stack.
That might not be a big deal for those who have large table. But sometimes it does affect where I’m going to place my next tile. For certain valuation, especially those related to spatial considerations, moving tiles can change the score or valuation.
We cannot really say that as long as the buildings remains in the same street, we can move or slide the position of that street. One of the player might say, if they know that the position is going to be changed, they will probably play something else or place it somewhere else.
I thought about separating some streets while we still consider them as connected, but for some people, they might have a difficult time, visualizing the position and connection. While the previous streets are closed but they can still affect the game.
Again, with a big table, it might not be a big deal but it can happen.
With all of that issues, I still enjoy the game. This is one of my most played games but for solo mostly. It will take about 45 minutes per solo game that includes calculating scores, moving pieces, components and boards. Fiddly? Sure.
Some may consider this as a lightweight game. But there is a hidden depth from the spatial aspect and resource management that I like. We have to steer the direction of the city not just wait for the opponents to do it for us. I just wish that the other modules can offer something better.
Up to the time of this writing, the publisher hasn’t released or even announced any major expansion for Streets. There have been a couple of Promo Tiles and one Promo Pack from when they run the crowdfunding campaign.
All of these can be stored in the base game. Based on their previous game, Villagers, one major expansions comes in its own box.
From the Kickstarter campaign for Streets, it doesn’t seem like they already have a plan for expansion. But maybe we can follow the creator to get notification when they announce something. If they do, I will try to update this section.
Deluxe Edition (2021)
In this article, I only described my Standard Edition copy. Currently, Sinister Fish Games, the publisher is selling the Deluxe Edition on their website for about $53.
The upgrades from Standard edition are Full Color Printed wooden meeples, Screen Printed Wooden Money Tokens and Wooden Business Tokens with the same amount of components for each. The rest of the components are identical to the standard edition, including the box and Component Trays.
I already said it above on each section that these upgrades will take a lot more space as the components will be thicker. Some people will have trouble putting them back in the box.
For me, even though the upgrades are unnecessary, those wooden components will be durable compared to the cardboard standard version. So, if we like the game and play them a lot, maybe it’s not a bad deal to upgrade.
For those who are interested in just the money tokens, we can easily replace them with money tokens from other games or other brands. As long as we use the same denomination and the same amount for each.
Kickstarter Promo Pack
This promo pack will be included in the Kickstarter version for both Standard and Deluxe Edition. As far as I know, the publisher is not selling this separately.
The content of this promo pack includes 10 New Building Tiles, 4 Big Meeples, 2 New Consultant Cards, and 2 Tile Dividers for storage and rule sheet that explains how to include them with the base game.
We can read the English rule sheet from this page on BGG or from the official webpage.
First, the 4 Big Meeples represents 5 of the regular meeples. So, one color will get one Big Meeple and all of them are screen printed.
According to the publisher, if we play with tiles from this Promo Pack, we will need more than 12 meeples from the base game. So, anytime during the game, we can replace 5 meeples of the same color with this big one.
Then the 2 new Consultants are REALTOR and FRANCHISOR.
Realtor allows us to place another Ownership sign on another player’s building in the same street. So, we have to place 2 in a turn but this one is optional. By doing so, we can get the score from 2 buildings when the street is closed.
There is a restriction for this where we can only have one co-owned building in play at any time. According to the rule sheet, Realtor will not get the benefit from the other player’s Consultant scoring bonus. So, it’s not like Copy valuation but scoring on their own.
Also from the rule sheet, it is possible that one player choose to abandon that building. That player will still take Business token but the people will not get FOMO until both players abandon it.
For the Franchisor, we can only use this Consultant if we also play with Business module. Franchisor allows us to get additional $2 to the building for each matching Business Token that we have. This power doesn’t apply for the half value during the End of the Game.
If I understand correctly, during scoring, we have to take Business token first and that token itself will give $2 for that scoring. Later, if we score another building with the same Icon, we can get $2 from the previous building icon and another $2 for each of the new one.
This makes the Business module more interesting. On one hand, we might want to diversify so we can get $2 anytime but on the other hand, we can also focus on just one type.
The 2 Tile Dividers are just to help with storage in the box. They are similar to the tile but instead of square size, it is a bit taller. One will say 5 PLAYERS and the other will say PROMO PACK.
For me, since I only play the game with 2 players or solo, I probably will not touch those 5 player tiles. This divider is a nice way to keep them away from the other tiles.
For the tiles from Promo Pack, I think I will always use them and they have to replace 10 tiles from the base game. So, what will stay behind this divider is actually those from the base game.
I kind of wish that they use the divider for Promo Pack as a reminder of how to setup the game using the pack instead of just illustrations.
Last part of this pack are the 10 BUILDING TILES. All of these 10 tiles are unique and new. They kind of introduce new Valuations except for 4 tiles.
FIXED VALUE Valuation. Two tiles will have this Valuation and both will definitely give $4 each if we score them. The only way to increase the value is from the people. Each has 2 symbols so we can probably get $6 at least by playing this tile.
SETS OF PEOPLE Valuation. Instead of getting score $2 from each people, this require 2 for $3. So, it is not as good as from the base game. However, the tile itself will generate 2 people with the matching color, which is only the Blue variant. That means during scoring, we can get $5.
ANY PEOPLE Valuation. Instead of getting score from one type of people, this count score from any type in the same street. This can be very strong towards the end of the game, even if just $1 per meeple. We just need to try to move the People to that street.
SCORE! Valuation. This is a new one from just one tile. What this does is if we play this to a street it’s like the street is closed even though we place it by extending the street. All of the buildings in that street will be scored and we have to move people away.
However, after we are done with the scoring, we can continue extending that street following the regular rule. For one, this can be good for the final turn if we don’t have enough tiles or turn to enclose the street.
The other use is to cut off the opponent’s progress for certain Valuation. Maybe they are trying to score based on the number of People or Ownership signs.
Unfortunately for solo play, we do not use the tile with this Valuation.
SWAP Valuation. This is the last unique new Valuation from the Promo Pack. If we choose to play this, instead of placing it on an active street, we use it to replace any unowned building in the City. Then we use that replaced building and place it in any active street, alongside with the people.
Unowned building doesn’t have to be a building from an Enclosed street. It could be a building that the somebody recently abandoned.
The tile with this Valuation itself has 2 Wild symbols. So, we might want to use that to replace an Enclosure of an active street. Hopefully we can still get the benefit of that 2 symbols.
Unfortunately for solo play, we also do not use the tile with this Valuation.
Having more tiles doesn’t change the number of tiles that we will be using in any player count. We just replace 10 from the base game with those new tiles.
Dice Tower Kickstarter 2021 Promo Tile
This is a single new tile that was offered as a reward from Dice Tower Kickstarter 2021 campaign. It was part of the Promo Pack B with other promotional contents from 10 other games that we can get for $50.
From what I understand, usually The Dice Tower will sell this promo packs on BoardGameGeek.com Store for the leftover stock after they have delivered to the backers first.
This tile will come in an envelope and there will be an instruction for the setup. According to BGG entry for this expansion, the name of the tile is BOUNCING CASTLE with a blue Dice Tower as the illustration. It has a Wild symbol and to play with this, we have to replace another Wild tile.
The Valuation is based on Green People. For every pair of Parents we get $5, which is very strong compared to the basic $2 per meeple.
Board Game Arena Promo Tile
While there is an entry for this expansion on BGG, there is not enough information we can find there. I don’t know exactly where they are offering this but apparently we can read more from one of updates on Kickstarter Campaign page for Streets.
It seems this one is similar to the Dice Tower promo. We get a single tile in an envelope that we can add to the base game by replacing one Wild building. The valuation is very interesting as we need 2 meeples yellow and green pair to get $4.
According to that Kickstarter update, we can purchase both for about $2.5 each, this BGA tile and Dice Tower Tile as an add on when backing their sequel game, Moon.
Streets is a competitive tile laying game for 1 to 5 players. The theme is city building where all players will build the city collectively.
Every turn, players will take turns playing one of the 3 tiles in their hand. The tile is a square tile bigger than most of the game. Each tile has a building illustration and a street or road that must be connected to the other tile when placing them.
We can either extend the Street or enclose the street by creating an intersection. The street cannot have more than 5 buildings in the same orientation.
After placing the tile, we will also place one of our Ownership sign to indicate that the building is ours. When the street is closed on both ends, we have to sell the property and get the money, which is victory points at the end.
Each building has a Valuation or Scoring Condition. It can be based on Symbols that appeared in the same street, the number of specific group of people, the Street size, adjacent buildings, number of buildings with the same owner or get the same value of another building.
The value can be increased by the number of people attracted by that building. Each building will have symbols or colors that indicates the type of people that will come and hangout in that building. So, we place one meeple on it per depicted symbol.
When the street is closed and the building is sold, these people will stay in the city but they will look for the next building that matches their type. As the game progresses, more and more people will hang out in several streets and increase the value of subsequent buildings.
The player who closed the street gets to choose how to move those people, obviously to that player’s next building. That means, before closing the street, players might want to be prepared of catching them by placing a tile with matching symbol.
Each players can only have up to 5 active buildings at a time, indicated by the limited Ownership signs. Since we always have to build a new building and put our sign on it, these signs become another resources that we have to manage.
We have to make sure to always have one of them unused and try to close the street where we can get back those signs. Because of this limit, working on our own street, while it’s possible is not a sustainable strategy.
We have to compete and try to take advantage of the other players by building in the same street. There is a timing aspect as where and when to play a tile, hoping that the opponent will help us get the signs back.
If we don’t have any sign, we have to abandon one of our building and will not get any money from that previous building. The other way to get the sign is to steer the development of the city in an inward direction.
By doing so, we can use the previous street to help us close down one end of the street. We cannot just wait for the opponent to do it for us while trying to keep getting the most scores from any Street.
The game continues until all of the tiles have been played. For the remaining unclosed street, each player will only get half the value. Whoever has the most money wins.
That is the basic game. There are 2 modules that we can add, the Business Icon module and Consultant Module. Business Icons introduces another set collection. Each building tile has a Business Icon of 4 different type.
Everytime the street is closed, we can choose one of the building and take the depicted Business tokens. We get more money by having every set of 4 different icons. There is an additional player interaction where whoever has the most tokens of each type will get more money at the end.
I feel like this module doesn’t significantly change the game as we still have to focus on the building’s Valuation first. Considering that we will still get any token and the possibility of winning the majority, we probably don’t care that much, except maybe the last one or two buildings.
The Consultant module introduces unique Player Power. Each player will get a random Consultant cards with special power that only that player can use. This power can vary from adding more Symbols during Scoring, play and build two buildings every turn or score another building from hand.
There are two groups for this powers. One type can happen during Scoring and the other can happen during Building or playing a tile. Both of them are very limited in how the power can be used and very situational.
They kind of can make the game more strategic from the tactical nature of the base game. Unless the player is willing to explore, the impact to the game is probably not that much.
There is an issue of table space. We don’t know which direction that the city will develop and with a big tile, it can take a lot of space. Eventually we have to rotate the entire board, move all of the pieces that we put on the table near the playing area.
The problem is that sometimes it can affect where we place the tile or we have to slide even just the street so they can fit the table. Some of the Valuations may require specific position so, it the tile is moved, the player may not get the same score. All of these don’t matter if we play on a large enough table.
The best part of this game is the solo variant where player has to compete against the bot opponent, the Grifter. Instead of randomly draw a tile for the opponent, we know exactly the next tile that the opponent will make before we do our own action.
This makes every turn very engaging because we can react or even take advantage from it. Since it is still not a complete information as we don’t know all of their tile except the next one, there can be some surprise moment.
In that case, we have to abandon or hold our plan or we are giving a lot of points to the opponent. There are suggestions for higher difficulty settings but we mostly play the same game but have to score even higher.
That engagement doesn’t happen with multiplayer as we still don’t know the exact tiles in the opponent’s hand, and which or where they will put next. For some people and with higher player count, the game can be very fiddly with the moving people and scoring.
Streets is considered as a lightweight game but with extra hidden depth from the spatial aspect.
More Similar Games
There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities with Streets. Some people may look for those similarities that they enjoy. It can be the mechanism or even just the same theme or setting.
Usually a board game will have a lot of elements. It is kind of difficult find another game where everything is similar. Which is why, in this section, I try to break them into things that I enjoy from the game and point out games that share the same experience.
These next games are just some games that I have tried, played and written a review for them, up to this point. Check out the link to each article to find out more and also check this Complete list for more games.
In my opinion the Solo mode of Streets is probably one of the best thing from this game. I was surprised that having an almost complete information of what the opponent will do next can be a very engaging game. Not only that, even by having some controls of deciding what the opponent will choose next, it is still a challenging game.
The solo mode in this one integrates the opponent’s turn with the player’s. So, instead of we make the decision for our action and then, separately the opponent will just do random stuff, we know their next tile before we play ours first.
The game encourages us to take the opponent’s next action into consideration. We are engaged with that information the entire game. Of course, there will be times when their action is obvious but more often than not, we can even take advantage of their action.
One of the games with similar solo experience that I have played is Aerion, specifically if we are playing with the Hellkite module. In this one, we know exactly the next card that the Hellkite will block or give us bonus.
We can then mitigate that by taking the other type of card first or wait so that the Hellkite will instead give bonus if we destroy their card. It is not as engaging as Streets but it is a more challenging game.
Another solo game with similar experience is Maquis. This is a worker placement game where we have to place the worker not only to take action or resources on each worker spot but we also need to secure an escape route.
We will be playing against a deck of 10 Patrol cards that will decide where the Patrol would go. The order of how they come out will be random but if we can figure out which cards are left, it will give us an opportunity to take action with higher risk.
Another worker placement game is Mint Works. For the Solo mode we have to beat an AI that has a card that will define how the AI will behave. Once we understand their action patterns, then we can focus on the race to reach 7 points in order to win.
Peloponnes Card Game is a bidding game that also has a solo mode. In this one, we know which card that the opponent will take based on where we purchase the card. Sometimes we have to let the opponent get some cards while trying to be efficient in managing our own resources.
The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game also has a challenging solo variant. Every round we will reveal a deck of cards that will tell us the score of the opponent.
We will lose immediately if we cannot score higher than theirs every round. Because of that we cannot just play optimally at the end and go for small wins just to keep up with the score.
Seastead is a 2 player only game also with solo mode where we have to build buildings in one of 4 Flotilla Islands. In this one, if we choose the Dive action, we will flip a card that will tell us 2 sets of resources. We need to choose one for ourselves and give the other for the opponent.
Everytime the opponent gets 2 of the same resources, they will build their building. So we can see that coming and can try to prevent that or take advantage from it.
Tile Laying Games – Spatial Puzzle
The tile laying part in Streets is actually very basic. It’s either we extend or close to create intersection. Since there is a restriction with the amount of Ownership signs, we cannot just let the city sprawl.
Trying to close both ends of the streets on our own is very inefficient. Because of that, in this game, we will try to build the city inwards, where the previous street will eventually close one end of subsequent street.
The other way is to take advantage of the opponent’s action and let them do the closing. Another spatial puzzle of this game comes from some of the Valuation or Scoring Conditions from each tile.
One tile can give higher score from each adjacent tiles. Another will give more score if that tile is the enclosure or the one that creates the intersection.
One of the games that I’ve played with similar experience is OddVille. This one is also a city building game by laying tiles of cards collectively. For the spatial aspect, I think this one is better than Streets.
Each tile can also has Scoring Conditions but the street itself is not limited to just 5 buildings. We can keep extending the street as long as the street on the tile allows us to do so.
The scoring in this one only happens at the end of the game instead of per street and we get score based on the entire city. One scoring condition can give score for all buildings in the same row or column even if the streets are not connected at all.
So, players can both invested in that same scoring or they can cut their opponent’s effort. Also, by trying to connect the tile by the depicted street, we will get adjacency bonus for the resources or money.
Another interesting scoring condition are those that can give score based on either any adjacent buildings or the base value of those adjacent buildings. Because of that, building that has very high base value is not always a good idea as the opponent can take advantage of that.
Another tile laying game that uses cardboard tiles is Ankh’or. What makes this one interesting is that we can build a tile on top of 4 tiles. So, it has a bit of 3 dimensional spatial aspect.
In this one, each player will build their own structure of tiles. We are trying to place the tile with either the same color or the same type of animals. Sometimes even both. The tiles at the top are considered as adjacent to the tiles at the bottom.
There is a restriction that we can only build the top one if it has the same color as one from the bottom. If we manage to build on top, we get a discount. Even if the pyramid shape is the best form of structure, we still need to make a plan a bit with how we lay out the ground tiles.
Another form of tile laying games is using cards with a grid on it. Usually, we have to overlap those grids so that sections with the same color or icons can be adjacent from one to another. It’s like each section of the grid can be its own tile that can be overridden.
Sometimes those icons or sections won’t stay forever. But maybe it can open a new opportunity for future cards.
One of the games with that idea is Café. The game is about processing coffee beans from generating, drying, roasting until we can deliver those beans to either the warehouse or coffee shop.
We will be placing cards with a 2 x 3 grid, overlap them with each other so that the same icons of 4 different types can be adjacent to each other. The second half of the game is about activating those icons by spending 1 Action point per group of same and adjacent icons.
So, there is an engine building aspect to it. The challenge is that the coffee beans are processed in linear steps. We need to manage and balance those 4 types of icons or one will get stuck in one part of the process.
Another game with this overlapping card is Circle the Wagons. This is a micro game for 2 players only. One side of the card will have that grid and icons, but the other side will tell us a Scoring Condition for any given session.
One of the scoring conditions might require just a group of the same and adjacent icons. The other might require a combination of 2 types of icons in the same row or column.
Or they want us to create a 2 x 2 grid of the same icons. Aside from those requirements, we can also just try to make a group of the same background color.
For a roll and write genre, I think Kingdomino Duel also have this experience of spatial, tile laying puzzle. This is a dice drafting game where each round 2 players will take 2 dice to create a domino tile.
Then, each player in their own sheet must draw the tile by following a domino game rule. We can only place the same icons adjacent to each other to fill the grid. There is only one scoring condition but the challenge is about opening a connection for future domino tiles.
For 3D spatial puzzle, not just laying tiles, another game that I’ve played is Tumble Town. In this city building game, we have to construct the building using multiple dice with different colors.
Sometimes the building requires specific color on specific level but other buildings can be more flexible. After we’ve fulfilled the requirement from colors, number of dice and pips, we need to place the building on the player sheet.
This sheet will have slot with additional requirement for extra points. Maybe the slot require specific color in certain level from the building. We can also get points for having one space aisle between buildings.
This last one is Walking in Burano, which also uses cards to build the colorful houses of Burano. Each player will build their own grid of 5 houses each with 3 levels using small size cards that they draft from the communal area.
Aside from building colors, each card will show some objects like cats, curtains, chimney, plants or flowers. Once we have completed a house, we can attract a Character for that row to give us score. These characters have their own preferences as what they like to see from the building.
For the card placement, ideally we should start from the ground up to the roof. However, sometimes we get the roof card or the second level card first before the base level. Each player can use their 2 construction cards to temporarily replace the cards for the lower level while waiting for the right card from the market.
I’ve mentioned above that in Streets, there are a lot of player interactions, mostly because we are playing in communal board to build the city collectively. It’s not a multiplayer solitaire where we have our own board and just compare score at the end.
The interaction in this one is not just trying to destroy the other players or who can be the first to take the resources and give the rest to the other. Sometimes we can build up something and take advantage of the other player’s effort.
There is an aspect of timing. Holding on playing certain cards or action because we know it can be better after the other player has done something first.
For that experience, I have mentioned OddVille and Seastead.
Another games that I have played is Architects of the West Kingdom. This is a worker placement game where we can capture the opponent’s workers and throw them to jail. By doing so, we will get money in return.
So, we can let the other player keeps placing their workers on the same spot and we can capture all of them with just a single action. The more workers we can capture, the more money we can make.
Mandala, a 2 player only game with area majority mechanism is the next game that I’ve played with that experience. In this one, we will try to increase our control of 2 Mandalas against the other player. The winner gets to decide which color of cards from the center area to take while giving the other to the opponent.
We can either play cards to our area, increasing the control or play to the center, to manipulate the value. It is possible that we may end up having too much control but with no value from the center. Maybe we don’t win but the value from the second color is also not that bad.
Another 2 player only game, Jaipur can also give this experience. If we keep pursuing the most expensive cards without being able to trade a big bundle, the opponent will then make a bigger bundle from the cheaper goods which is easier. We also don’t want the opponent to fill the market with all Camels and take all fresh new cards.
Villages of Valeria is technically more like a multiplayer solitaire game but has a follow mechanism. The active player can choose the action and the other players can choose whether to take the same action but less powerful or more expensive. It’s not always a good move to just follow because we won’t be able to do the action properly during our turn later.
That is all I can share with you about Streets. I’m looking forward to trying the other games from this designer.
I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.
I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.
The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity. Some may say, it’s like a workout for the gray matter of our brain.
So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.
This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.
Thanks for reading.