Street Fighter is a game that engages the emotions more strongly than any other short game I have ever played.
Publisher: Level 99 Games
Designer: D. Brad Talton, Jr.
Artist: Laura La Vito
Game Type: Hand Management, Card Driven Combat, EXCEED Fighting System
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 15-25
Number of Players: 2
Find it on Level 99 Games!
Theme and What is it?
Two street fighters are squaring off until only one is left standing. The premise is simple but will deliver some nostalgia to fans of the Capcom video arcade games. The card driven, Exceed fighting system will have players attempting to always find themselves on the better side of each attack.
Each player is given an aid card which shows the 7 possible actions they can take on a turn. They will select one and (usually) draw a card to end their turn. Every action is an attempt to build up for an important strike.
Players can put in ongoing boosts to enhance their next attack. They can draw cards to fish for more attack and defense options. When a player announces they are making a strike, they play their card face down and decide if they want to pay to make it a critical. Then their opponent also plays face down.
Cards are revealed and the fastest attacks go first, hopefully foiling the attack of the other player in the result!
The art, style, and theme just drip in nostalgia. These games were wildly popular arcade titles when I was a child. Now that we have grown up, we have the chance to play a familiar theme with new mechanisms.
There are new ways to setup the button combos and unleash special attacks unique to the character; but, the familiar combo feel is still there!
Game Build Quality
I was really excited to find tuck boxes to keep each character’s deck ready to go and easy to pull out. In fact, while the entire game box takes up a very small amount of room, just taking 2 of the tuck boxes out makes everything needed to play exceptionally portable.
The playmat is gorgeous and it enhances the experience more than I would have guessed. It is not necessary to play, which is great for travel. But at home, that mat is going on the table every time we play Street Fighter.
Laura La Vito has defined art to draw on from previous Street Fighter games. But has updated and put her own spin onto the characters. The art makes a great balance between Nostalgia and familiarity with new and exciting imagery that conveys action and excitement with every strike card reveal.
My attack was dodged, advantage gave my opponent another turn, and then my block was broken stunning me to take my third hit to the face in a row… I was feeling a little disappointed that I couldn’t land a shot.
Then I backed up and threw some ranged attacks my opponent wasn’t prepared for. Then I threw out an ultra attack and suddenly I am in the lead… The tables have turned, I am now getting the combos and feeling very satisfied with my playing. It is my opponents turn to start sweating as he struggles to recover.
How close did it come? 1 life. 1. Fun? Check.
Age Range & Weight
10+ Seems fair, if a little conservative. The amount of words on a card is likely the only thing holding the age range up this high. The theme is a possible turn off with some parents but it doesn’t try to hide anything. There is violence. You hit people untill they run out of life.
Street Fighter is a game that engages the emotions more strongly than any other short game I have ever played. You feel great countering each of your opponents strikes perfectly.
You feel terrible getting beaten up by the narrowest of margins. But it keeps swinging from one to the other and in the end when a player is finally eliminated.
BOTH players have a lot of excited chatter about how close it was and how any critical difference would have made it end a different way.