Streaming by Looping Games – Review

"A fun game with a great strategy. Lots of choice and replayability."

Theme and What is it?

*Note* Copy of the game provided by publisher for review purposes.

As the head of a new network it’s up to you to make sure your channel is a success. You’ll need to get the best shows and promote your newest episodes. There are other networks out there and they’ll be bidding on all the new series as well. If you can get the right shows at the right time while paying attention to the needs of the audience you just might come out on top.

Streaming is an auction game where you will be bidding on several shows for your new broadcast network. You’ll need to watch what shows you pick up when and what the audience is looking for to make sure you get the best offerings. You’ll also need to save some of your budget for advertising. Can you get your station to number 1?

Gameplay Mechanics

In Streaming you will be bidding for several shows and using some money to advertise those shows for points. Every round you set out random pairs of show cards that are equal to one more than the number of players. Each player then bids by holding a number of coins in their hand and revealing them simultaneously. Whoever bid the most gets to add the shows to their schedule, they also get the win marker. If the auction ends in a tie the winner is the player closest to the left of the player with the win marker. Everyone who was outbid keeps their money.

When adding shows to your collection you sort them by the five genres: Fiction, Sports, Cartoon, Reality, and Documentary. New shows are placed on top of the stack and if you get two shows of the same type you may place them in whatever order you choose.

After all of the revealed sets of shows are bid on you can promote any programing you wish. This is done by spending one coin for each genre you want to promote. You’ll then score a number of points equal to the value of the show on the top of that genre’s stack.

After five rounds of play there is one last scoring round followed by final scoring. Here whoever has the most shows of a genre will get points equal to the value of all the shows in that genre. If two players are tied for most shows in a genre then they both get to score it. You also get points for left over money.

Highest points wins.

There are also some audience cards set out at the beginning of each game. These add extra rules, scoring opportunities, and goals to the game that make each play different.

Initial Impressions

I wasn’t sure what to think here. The art was intriguing and the game was compact. I thought the theme seemed interesting though from the name I thought it was going to be about Twitch or YouTube streaming not setting up a television channel. I was a little hesitant going in for that reason.

Game Build Quality

I think everything is a pretty good quality here. The coins used for bidding were good quality and easy to tell apart. The cards are pretty decent quality. I don’t think they’ll require sleeving. It would be rough with the audience cards as they are double sided.

The English translation on the rules was a bit rough. There are bits that weren’t adequately explained and we only figured them out fully by reading the examples. Promoting your shows was one example of this. The rules made it seem like you could only promote 1 genre of shows and it wasn’t until the example that we realized you only get points for the show on top of the stack.

Artistic Direction

I like the art. It was easy to tell what show they were referencing and the style was fun. Everything was bright and had a nice look to it. The cards are clear and easy to see what is happening in each.

Fun Factor

This is an auction game. The fun here is all in figuring out when to buy which shows. You’ll be spending a lot of time trying to outthink the other players. There’s a bit of strategy to the game especially if a high value show comes up early. Paying attention to what your opponents have and what has and hasn’t come up yet is a big part of the game.

Age Range & Weight

The box says 10+ and I’d say this is a pretty good range. The rules aren’t particularly complex and the decisions aren’t very difficult. They may need a little help with the math, especially in the late game. There are some of the trickier audience cards you may want to avoid with younger players but all in all I think it’ll work with younger players.

Conclusions

There’s a good amount here to enjoy. The strategy of when to bid is a big part of this game. High value cards coming up early can focus your strategy or break it. If you get an eight in the first round you can get forty points by promoting it every round, however that may let someone else go for the rest of the shows in that genre without you trying to stop them and get a lot of points late game.

The audience cards are what really make this game though. Having those four cards in the center of the table that can do anything from make documentaries more valuable or give a bonus to whoever gets one of each genre first. While some of them are similar, there’s enough variation that you’ll get some interesting combinations.

As I said, the rules are a little wonky. The game also states that money should be hidden but doesn’t supply player shields to make that possible. I also wish the score sheet had one more row so you had somewhere else to put in final scoring and then the total. These are all minor complaints though.

I think this is a pretty decent game. As always, try before you buy and swing by your local con, game store, or apparently library and see if you can give it a test run.