Street Masters


Street Masters is a cooperative board game that allows you to relive the glory days of the beat ’em up videogame genre. If you’re a fan of games like Double Dragon, Final Fight, and River City Ransom, Street Masters might be right up your alley. So pick your character, select the stage and the enemies you’ll be fighting against, and hit the pavement!

Every turn, you’ll be able to perform the following three actions:

  • You’ll have the option to move.
  • You’ll have the option to play a card. If it’s an attack card, it resolves immediately. If it’s a tactics card, it can help give you combat or other in-game bonuses.
  • You’ll have the option to play another action that can run the gamut of taking an action from the cards you played or interacting with the environment in some meaningful manner.

In addition to what you can do as part of your regular turn, you can also go after objectives on the map or uncover crates that will give you powerups to help you out.

And because Street Masters is cooperative, get ready to plan alongside your ally. Decide who will take on which of the bad guys, what objectives to prioritize, and how you can help each other out with abilities and powerups. But beware – there’ll be a stream of bad guys spawning that you’ll have to deal with. And the boss is strong and will only get stronger as the game progresses. Balance out you building up your character with clearing out the mobs and damaging the boss lest your opponents grow too strong, too numerous, and taking victory from your fists of fury!

Core Mechanics: Action economy, cardplay, one to one combat

Victory Condition: Players will cooperate to defeat a boss, bringing him down to zero hit points. Players will lose if their characters get KOed or if they fail in their mission objectives.

Ease of learning: Surprisingly, Street Masters isn’t really all that hard to learn. As I’ve outlined above, piloting your fighter is really simple. You have a discrete number of actions to work with, which makes it a lighter cognitive load. Combat resolution is also simple: look to see how much dice you roll for an attack and roll that many dice. And if you’re getting attacked, see if the damage you’re being dealt can be blocked using the block tokens you have on you. Whatever damage doesn’t get blocked will sap your hitpoints.

Controlling the enemies isn’t hard either. Unlike games of Gloomhaven, where AI movement can be wonky, Street Masters’ enemy actions are based on what their cards say and you follow those instructions. In cases where there’s a tie or something might be ambiguous, the players get to decide how that gets resolved.

All in all, the game is fun to play and leads to a tight, tense experience that should satisfy fans of beat ’em ups. It’s probably the best implementation of that genre in board game form.

The game is funded on Kickstarter.

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