original German edition
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from 9 customer reviews
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Compete with other players to build cable car tracks for the city. Players add to the same line, each trying to make the tracks run by their stops. After completing the track for their line, players then run their cars in a race to complete their routes.
Average Rating: 3.9 in 9 reviews
Linie 1 is a perfect social strategy game. It can be played with youngsters or all-adults, and it's great fun either way.
Some players dislike the fact that they can spend an entire game building a great track, only to be defeated by someone who built a 'worse' line much faster. Well, that's the breaks. Even in the real world, taking a longer route which is available sooner is often more successful. Ask the person who's refusing to drive around the lake until they build a bridge for him.
So, in this game, there are rewards for building efficient routes, but there are also rewards for seeing that existing lines, while not perfect, are available now and could lead to victory.
As to the idea of rolling dice during the race portion of the game. Sure, there's some luck, but not so much that it unbalances the earlier, very fun, track building project. It's rare when someone enters the race very late, with a poor line, and lucks up to win due solely to dice rolls.
It's great fun, and if you can get it, grab it (particularly the Linie 1 version--the Mayfair version kills the race mechanism entirely).
We play this game again and again in our household. Linie 1 is all about building trolley car lines to secret destinations over the same ground that your opponents are building upon. Utilizing your opponent's track is essential. In the end, you race your trolley cars over the track, tracing your entire route to victory. We often play for first and second loser, as well, just to prolong the amusement.
What makes this game really fun, however, is a spirit of malicious mischief, interfering with your opponent's track (if you can figure out where they're headed, that is) while simultaneously smoothing your own way past your alotted goals. My partner is particularly wicked in this regard, often delaying his own victory in an attempt to mess with his opponents; believe it or not, this sort of tactic makes the game very exhilarating! One of our favorite games involved my placement of track in such a way as to block my partner from his final destination when potential substitution track had already been played or held by others, making the completion of his trolly route totally impossible! The havok that he wrought after that was indescribably entertaining!
We once tried playing Linie 1 without the malice, and decided that it took the fun out of the game. Without attempts to interfere with opponents, the game can be quite sedate and even a little dull.
I highly recommend this game to play with friends and family. It's easy to explain and understand, and is full of amusing challenge and contention. Plus, I like building all that track! Trying to repair your trolley route when an opponent has derailed things is surprisingly entertaining, just from an engineering standpoint. Beware the 'Circles of Death', the traffic circles with no exits that evolve to trap the unwary....
My wife is VERY competitive. This has an interesting effect when she loses a new game. If the game itself is bad, it is branded as 'stupid' and we never play it again. If the game is good, then she will want to play it again in hopes of a win. When we first got Streetcar, she demanded six replays in a row until she got a win. That is the mark of a great game.
Unfortunately, the Mayfair edition is marred with some of the worst components I have ever seen in the major release of a game. Where most Eurogames come with thick tiles and chunky wooden bits, this comes with thin tiles that are little more than cardboard, and are all too easily jostled. The streetcars themselves are a farce, tiny wooden nibs with ill-fitting sticker 'sweaters'.
The game covers a lot of the same territory as the more current game of Metro, only from a completely opposite perspective. Where Metro rewards a player for making long, loopy routes, Streetcar rewards efficiency in setting routes. Given a choice, I think Streetcar is the more elegant design.
There is a lot of cleverness here, too. The swapping of tiles for more elaborate tiles is a wise decision, making an innocuous piece of track suddenly into a nexus of activity. Much of the fun of the game is determining which destinations your opponents have, and then trying to steer them on long, circuitous routes. The final race is also extremely clever, with its 'one-more-than-before' movement. This is an improvement over the German version of the game, which used a die roll to determine movement of the streetcar. This rule is vastly better.
The races have been surprisingly close in our games. The first person to complete their route will often have a less efficient tour of the board, so a player ending their track-laying later still has a shot at a come-from-behind victory.
This is a game that almost any family would love. Highly recommended. Just wish the components were better quality!
There are a few games that I think are overlooked. I still find it quite surprising that Streetcar and Big City, both excellent games in my opinion, haven't found a bigger audience. Both of these games are great for introducing new-to-German-game players to German games. They play quickly, have a good mix of interaction, decisions, and luck, and have solid themes.
Streetcar is basically a connect-the-tiles sort of game, and it works well with the theme. Simply connect one end of your Streetcar line to your other end making the stops assigned to you by secret card distribution. Very easy to learn. About the only strikes against this game are the horrible graphics (thank you, Mayfair--thbbbppppt) and the fact that the stop assignments don't seem very equal to me in some of the games I have played. (And if you ever see the German version of Streetcar, known as Linie 1, you'll wonder why Mayfair uglified what was once a really nice looking game.)
No matter. This game is easy to learn, fun to play, actually requires more brains than you might think at first, and can either be light and fun if you play nicely, or can be utterly and wonderfully frustrating if you like to play games with more of an interfering style. =)
Great for families, GREAT FOR TWO PLAYERS! One more small thing to mention, it says 2-5 players, but 5 players bogs the game down so badly you may never finish the game. All in all, a great little game that has a classic feel to it.
Along with Modern Art, one of the most played games in my circle of friends. A fun, light game that has a lot of replay value, and can be learned very quickly. As 'family' games go, this one is near perfect. Its only real fault, IMO, are the shoddy quality of the Mayfair pieces and board. The game really would benefit from a raised plastic grid (a la Deluxe Scrabble) as track pieces are invariably wiggling away from their original placements...
This 1996 game by Mayfair is fun to play, but it is very simplistic. At least it has a short playing time (about one hour), so you can play it a couple of times in one sitting before wanting to play something else.
The first phase of the game, which accounts for about 90 percent of the play, involves players laying track tiles on the board. Players must connect from one station to another across the board while including stops at specific New Orleans sites (all determined randomly and secretly) before running their streetcars (the final 10 percent of the game). Players compete for the placement of track tiles and which direction they will go, much like Avalon Hill's 1830 series of games. In the final race phase of the game, streetcars can move a number of tiles one greater than the last player's move.
The German version of Streetcar, Linie 1, was runnerup for 1995 German Game of the Year. This game should have broad appeal for families, but the serious gamer will prefer other choo-choo games.
This is a very easy game to learn, not at all intimidating to non-gamers. The fun of threading a route through a maze of rivals is not lost on more veteran tacticians, either! So it's a good meeting ground for players of mixed abilities but can also be played hardball without regret.
Once the routes are built, I consider the actual 'race' of the streetcars around their respective lines to be more than anything else simply the scoring mechanism, confirming by countdown the quickest route to the winner's circle. Therefore I prefer Streetcar's version of the race, where each player moves one space more than the previous player, to
Streetcar holds the interest without gnashing the brain and plays quickly enough as not to outlast its welcome. If you are looking for a solid, but not too heavy game, this may be just the ticket.
Streetcar, the English version of Germany's Linie 1, is a straight-forward train game about building the shortest connection between your two stations and then racing your train to your end station (exactly opposite from Iron Horse, a game where you try to make the longest connection!).
You build your connection by using track tiles, and of course while you are trying to connect your two unique stations (placed on opposite sides of the board) so are your opponents. The track-building sequence is the most fun part of the game, as you continually try to make your life better while messing up the next person's plan. Once you have a completed connection between your two stations, you start the race phase of the game.
Here is where the game loses its punch. The race sequence is underwhelming, and there are at least two ways to play it. The German version included a die, and you simply rolled for your movement. In Streetcar, this is replaced with a '1-plus' movement mechanism. This means you move one on your first move, two on your second, three on your third, etc. It doesn't grow continually, though, since during the race you are forced to stop at designated crossings throughout.
The first person to complete their course wins the game. The game is a fun family game, and versus other rail games it is quite simple making it a good choice for kids.
Another corrective review. I try and keep these to a minimum, but I know that I use reviews as a guide to purchasing games, and that others do too, so giving accurate enjoyment ratings is important.
This game is simple to learn, a bit of variety and changing challenge, but it also feels a bit dry, it tends to hurt your brain when played with 4 or 5 players, and--most of all--it doesn't seem to garner much attention from gamers or non-gamers.
I think this game is best to play with non-gamers, as some of my friend like playing it once in a while. But I don't think this game can be compared with games like Union Pacific or King of the Elves, games that deserved 4 stars. The 2 stars I give it might be a bit low, but they'll help to even out the 4 stars I gave it the first time.