When I contemplate Haakon Gaarder’s Villagers, its defining characteristic is its “light touch,” a careful avoidance of going too far with its complexity or authorial intrusion. Instead, it employs sparing strokes: a few abilities, sparse rules, a shared social space that made immediate sense to everyone involved.
Streets is a follow-up to Villagers in more ways than one. And it could have used a heavier touch.
One of the joys of board games is watching how the same system can be used in radically different ways, and in the process produce entirely different moods. Take Haakon Gaarder’s Villagers as a prime example. I’ve played more drafting and tableau-building games than I’d dare guess at, but none of them felt quite like this.