Greetings Backloggers! This week’s entry is an odd one: a game that feels like it should be a mobile app, but which seems to have only ever gotten a PC release. Streets of Chaos appears to have arrived in my inventory via a long-forgotten bundle purchase, and there it has sat for nearly two years.
Developed by SimProse Studios, (Redemption: Eternal Quest, Fantasy Kingdom Simulator, Elysium: Blood Games, and Cavern of Time) Streets of Chaos is a fairly simplistic strategy game where the objective is to gain control of the ruins of a post-apocalyptic city. Build up your gang, protect your turf from your rival, deal with judges and law enforcement, and find victory by reaching a set number of control points. Control points are earned for each city block that you control. Each game can be made more or less challenging by selecting your control point goal, and enabling optional parameters such as total victory, where you must control all the city blocks.
The biggest problem here is that Streets of Chaos is boring. Each turn you decide whether to recruit one new gang member, assign one or two members to take over a block or hunt for your rival, and click End Turn. Random events, such as deal offers with other gangs, interference from your rival, or members of your gang getting arrested, appear from time to time.
The trouble is, there’s no reason to do any of the extraneous things. Just keep clicking through events, assign gang members each turn, and move on to the next turn. Another problem is bugs and lack of explanations. In several turns I ran into city blocks that were locked out, with no clear explanation of whether the lockout was by design, or a bug in the map. In another issue, the Save/Options/Exit screen stayed up and was captured by my OBS software after I should have switched to the main game screen, and the only fix was to shut down and restart the game.
Even victory was remarkably unceremonious. Just a “You Win” message, then the game closed down of its own accord. The starting screen at least got a pre-rendered screen with a paragraph of backstory. My winning playthrough, on default difficulty and options, clocked in right around a half-hour. That’s the best thing I can say about Streets of Chaos, it’s short, and there’s no good reason to experiment with the various game mode options.
Backlog Verdict: Don’t bother. There’s nothing here that makes Streets of Chaos stand out from other, better games, and it’s not even bad enough to be playable in a “So bad it’s good” way. It’s just a bland, boring window. An hour playing Solitaire would be more interesting. This game would have been fine a mobile game, where wasting a few minutes would be perfectly reasonable. On the PC it’s not worth the trouble.
Previous Backlog Count: 1,142
Current Backlog Count: 1,141
Next Time: Let’s get Stranded!
Backlog Burndown is a semi-regular feature on Marooner’s Rock. Read previous columns in the archives, and suggest future games to play in the comments!