Tiny Epic Quest is another in the line of Tiny Epic games, the likes of which we’ve reviewed previously when we took a look at the very cool (but unnecessarily small) Tiny Epic Galaxies. In Tiny Epic Quest you and up to three others take on a mystical land full of goblins, temples and awesome items for your meeples to pick up and use.
Yeah, pick up. I’ll come to it later, but it’s well worth sticking around for.
The game is divided up into day and night, giving two distinct sets of things to do throughout the game. In the day the players can move around, using the movement cards to decide if to travel by horse, ship, on foot or another of the provided methods. Each method grants different movements; going by raft means you can move vertically down a river, while going by ship lets you travel from one edge of the board to any other. There’s a twist here though which is pretty common in the Tiny Epic games – when one player triggers a movement, other players can choose to follow it as well. As such, manoeuvring your little dudes to the right spot can be a carefully thought out and occasionally risky business. You might arrive at your targeted temple ready to go looting at night, but you might also be stranded by a slightly pissed off goblin, ready to attack you the moment the sun goes down.
The action arrives when everyone has done their movements and night rocks up. At night time you get to learn spells, explore temples and fight goblins, all of which use dice rolls to determine how successful you are. The most interesting activity here is the idea of exploring a temple, which takes quite a bit of effort and luck to do quickly, but completing it will grant you an item from the set of treasure items which may well give you a handy extra ability. Complete two specific temples in the right order (as outlined on your player track) and you’ll earn a legendary item, a more spectacular bit of kit which will grant you extra attack, defence or magical abilities depending on which one you end up with. Whichever item you end up with, it doesn’t stop at a card you plonk in front of you. This time, we have the slightly oddly named but incredibly cool ITEMeeples.
These meeples come with little holes on their hands, holes that can grab hold of swords, bows and arrows, shields and, in true goblin-slaying-explorer fashion, panpipes. As such your character takes on a whole new identity, no longer a standard generic coloured wooden meeple, but now an adventurer with a purpose, an identity and a spade. It makes the story telling aspect of the game stronger, something that without these neat extras might’ve fallen a little flat by itself. It lets you set yourself up as a temple raider, a goblin hunter or a budding magician, building your route to victory with the aid of these cool little toys that may well end up being unique every time you play. It’s only a small twist, and one that could’ve easily been replicated with simple inventory cards, but it’s so much more fun to play with them that it’s impossible to imagine the game without them.
Eventually 5 turns will be up, and the game will be over. Your epic quest is at an end, and all that’s left is to total up how many goblins you’ve smacked, how many legendary items and completed quests you’ve managed to grab hold of, and how much magic you’ve built up. Using a points grid each player will be given a score, and the highest score wins. The town is saved for now (although a few things have been nicked along the way) and is ready for the next band of adventurers to step up and try their luck on a whole new town layout.
So with a couple of other players Tiny Epic Quest is great fun. There’s not a huge amount of interaction or fighting between players, but it’s more fun to go through it with some company as opposed to playing solo. There is, incidentally, a fully functional single player adaptation in the rules, but having tried it I found it a bit dry, and certainly wasn’t as much fun as having others around to annoy when you grab that quest just before them, or snatch the lamp away just as someone else was heading for it. This is a good, fun game to have on standby, and even if you feel like you’ve had your fill of Tiny Epic games you’ll want to try out the ITEMeeples. Those alone are almost worth the entrance fee.