It’s time for another GameNight post to tell you about what we’ve been playing lately. This week we wanted something quick and easy, so we pulled out “Tiny Epic Quest” by Gamelyn Games. There are a whole series of “tiny epic” games: western, zombies, galaxies, kingdoms. They even have a dinosaur themed one coming out this summer that I am excited about. We also have Galaxies and Beyond the Black in this series.
They are all games that fit in a box about the size of a paperback book, hence the “tiny” in the name. One of the things I love about these games is that they can’t be very complicated, because there just isn’t space to do that. They have clever mechanics and ways of playing, but you don’t have to worry about reading an 89 page rulebook.
In Tiny Epic Quest, you have three “meeples” which are your little characters that go questing around a map. The map is built from a deck of map cards, so the arrangement changes a bit each time you play, making no two games the same. Each turn has two kinds of actions you can do. First you send your meeples off around the map to explore, and then in the second half of your turn, you roll the dice to try and fulfill the quest you’ve sent them off on.
One of the clever parts of this game is that moving your meeples is limited to only 1 kind of movement each turn (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, around the outside of the board, or a single step any direction) and players take turns choosing which one it will be. I had fun thwarting a move of my husband’s when we played last night by choosing the diagonal move card so he couldn’t get to the quest that would score him lots of points.
The goal is to score as many points as you can in 5 rounds. You can do many different kinds of things with your meeples that earn points: learn magic spells, explore treasure caves, fight goblins or fulfill quest cards. One kind of quest can only be finished by having your meeples arranged in a specific pattern on the map (like all in a diagonal line).
Once you’ve placed your pieces, then you take turns rolling the dice and trying to get enough of the quest symbol you need to finish the quest. It’s a “press-your-luck” strategy because if you roll too many times, you can become exhausted and then you lose all of your progress for that turn. Dice rolls are also shared between the players so you might roll symbols that help you or they might be exactly what another player needs to finish their quest so you have to decide to keep rolling or quit while you are ahead.
One silly and fun component of this game is that your meeples can carry treasures, which are little objects they can hold that give that token extra powers or bonus points for certain kinds of tasks. You can see a meeple holding a spell book in the photo above. The card below lets you take the bow and it helps you fight goblins. There are about two dozen different little treasures that each do different things from swords and bombs for goblin fighting, to a shovel and a lantern that help you explore temples.
Because it works in only 5 rounds, the game goes pretty quickly. I think we usually finish a game in about 45 minutes. You can’t attack other players or steal anything from them, so it is not super confrontational, but it is interactive as you can definitely mess with other players by making it difficult for them to move around or by rolling really well and finishing a quest first. The game manufacturer says ages 14+ and I think it depends on your kids. The mechanics of how you play are really easy to learn but the super varied strategy for scoring points would probably be more difficult for younger kids to grasp. (Maybe a good one for younger kids teamed up with an adult to help.) It has a solo mode so you can play by yourself (like a solitaire game) or with up to 4 players. For experienced gamers it might have a little too much randomness to make it really appealing, but I think it’s pretty perfect for people who just like to play some games to have fun.
I encourage you to find it at your local games store, but you can also get it directly from the game publisher: Tiny Epic Quest
Here’s also a link to find it on Amazon: Tiny Epic Quest
All the games in this blog post series will be featured on my Game Night “Idea List” on Amazon.
If you want to dig in to more in-depth reviews, video tutorials and more, you can check it out on Board Game Geek and here’s a link to my favorite game instructions video series: Watch It Played: Tiny Epic Quest