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Tiny Epic Quest is the latest in the line of the ‘tiny epic’ series of games from Gamelyn Games. Tiny Epic Quest sees the players trying to find weapons for their group of four adventurers to combat a goblin menace threatening to overtake the land.
The game is played over just five turns, and in this time your heroes need to travel the land, explore dungeons, learn magic, and defeat the goblins. Each of these tasks will earn you victory points and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The land you move through is represented by cards, and these will be placed is a different pattern in each game, adding variety every time you play through. Dungeons will be harder or easier to reach depending on your starting position and any hazards between you and your goal.
Each player receives 4 meeple figures, and these have space to carry two of the plug fit weapons each.
On the surface this looks like a typical many ways to win kind of game, but in practice this is not the case. The three basic weapons are worth a total of 12 victory points and achieving this in the five game turns is an achievable goal, as long as you focus on positioning your meeples over the correct dungeons in the correct sequence. In contrast gaining 12 points through other means requires 5 goblins defeated, or 9 out of a possible 10 magic levels gained. Gaining magic levels or defeating goblins is a riskier prospect compared with basic weapon quests. As to the advanced weapons, some of these can be useful but given the compressed game time there’s little opportunity to make use of them.
Previous Tiny Epic games I’ve played seemed quite suited to the form. Here the small components and short play time work against the themes. There’s little time to enjoy your adventurers’ prizes. Also the theme of setting for to rid the land of goblins is not matched by a points system that rewards you for ignoring the threat to grab loot – although this theme would be no surprises to dungeon masters the world over.
The absence of a score tracker fast an end of game aid is an annoying oversight. There are multiple copies across the game components to let you know what you score is across the four quests, but nowhere to track each player’s score while you work out the grand total. It makes the end of the game longer and more fiddly than it needed to be.
Ultimately I found Tiny Epic Quest disappointing. Too much game crammed into too little space and time. However if you like your games as a race against time, then Tiny Epic Quest may provide a lot of fun as you rush to complete as many quests as you can in just 5 turns, with a ‘push your luck’ mechanic to keep you overreaching.