Name: Tiny Epic Dungeons
Designer: Scott Almes
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Game type: Dungeon Crawler Players: 1-4
Playing time: 30-60 min (first games could go to 120min)
Tiny Epic by Gamelyn Games hits again. In a positive way, obviously.
We are already used to these small boxes in which we find an experience of a caliber board game.
I want to start this review by saying that I am not necessarily a big fan of dungeon crawlers. But this one, even in this small form, pleasantly surprised me.
We find again very nice components, extremely good quality and a gameplay at least in line with a game of ordinary sizes, which puts me back in the position of applauding Gamelyn Games.
Quick overview of the game:
Movement: Each player on its turn have the option to move and then perform a heroic action or vice versa. When the player reaches to an unexplored room, will turn the card face up and rotates it as he wishes but the door/way must connect with the one from where he came. After this, new room cards will be placed next to any open passageways. Then the player has to resolve the room’s effect.
If in the room is a monster, the player takes damage and their movement stops. Otherwise, the player may continue his movement into the next room.
Actions and Skill Checks: Here is a lot to tell but long story short, a hero might find himself in different situations:
- Traps: you can try to disarm the trap.
- Monster: you can perform the attack action.
- Low on health and/or focus: you should rest.
- These are few the main actions you can do on your turn.
- Of course, the skill checks could not be missing. In TED, we have three different types of skills: strength, agility and intellect. So yes , you will need luck. Buuuut you have options to mitigate the dice.
Loot and Spells
We have heroes so we have items and spells to use. Also, potions that are available in the expansion. You can try to get a set of items because will give you extra benefits.
Well this is very interesting. This is a time tracking that also have some effects in certain spots. At the end of each player’s turn, the torch moves on the track. When the torch reaches in those spots/spaces I mentioned, bad things will happen: spawn goblins, let the goblins and minions (and later the boss) to move and attack. So try to be far away from them. If the Torch runs out, you loose the game.
When a player enter the Boss lair, The Torch mat get flipped over and the timer is reseted. Now the Boss fight starts, Torch moves again, goblins are spawned again and along with the Boss they move and attack.
So players can lose if the torch runs out in Act 1 or If the players fail to defeat the Boss before the Torch runs out in Act2. If the Boss is defeated in time, then players win the game.
For the first time, we also have miniatures. There are well detailed, for each hero. But there are also wooden meeples, screen printed with the shape and design of some minions and goblins but also different components of the game. The cards are of good quality as well. I like personalized dice in games, so I really like the ones from TED. I really like the artwork. It is detailed, colourful and diverse.
Rule Book: 7/10 and for the online version 9/10
The rulebook is ok, and is well written. At first glance you wouldn’t say so, but that’s because of the multitude of icons and the combinations between them. And yes you have to jump from one part of the rulebook to another part to connect the info. Initially I said that it is not well done, but later I realized that it is difficult to structure it to be close to ‘perfect’ . I think the iconography is the biggest disadvantage of the game, there are a lot of icons, but it is somehow understandable, because they had to considerably reduce all to this tiny this game. But icons are intuitive and after few plays you will get them without going to the rulebook again (or only few times).
There is also the online rulebook and is very well done, so check Dizzle App and also you can download the Appendix.
After few plays and get used with the rules and icons, the game should plays smooth and quickly. Movement and combat are nice but what I like is the ability to manipulate/mitigate the dice.
The torch board or the timing mechanism is good in a way because forces players to get faster to the boss but it makes the game harder because you don’t have time to level up and get more powerful.
I am not a fan of this type of games but some times I play them and this one I liked it. I won the first game and lost the next 2 games. It seems to be very hard in the end when fighting the boss and other goblins are coming after you…of course it depends also what items you have, what you roll on the dice… But every game can be epic…An epic win or an epic loss.
There is need for luck, there might be tight situations, the Torch Timer might be to short, the Boss fight might be a little to much. But still…there is a solid game.
I think there is a lot or variability and replayability, due to the number of heroes, bosses, minions, room cards, a lot of cards with items and spells and all of these in different combinations gives a lot of variability.
- Small box > an entire dungeon crawler game
- Great components (and a lot of them)
- Variability and Replayability
- Solid mechanics
- Great way to mitigate the dice
- Very good solo
Cons or what I felt was missing or not good or could have been improved (in my opinion):
- Time. Maybe the time is to short. There could be an easy mode with more time, so you can get more items and spells. And when you get used with the game you can go and level up the difficulty (shorten the time).I am not sure why but I don’t like the idea of getting the boss out of his lair.
- First games could take too much time because you have to get used with the game, icons and rules. And this can be a dead end with some of the players even if after few games this should be a fast game. After a hero dies (well, goes unconscious) it is very hard or impossible to recover or mostly, manages to avoid getting killed again (this is available in the late game with all the goblins and boss around).
TED is a solid game, a good dungeon crawler game, with very nice and good components in a tiny box. I find a little bit hard to learn the game at first, but if you play it a few times, it should be ok.So my rate for this game is 8/10 BUT…again, I am not a fan of this type of games and maybe someone who really likes and play dungeon crawler games will be more critic and would be understandable.
Disclaimer: Gamelyn Games was kind enough to provide me a copy of the game and the review is objective, all the aspects mentioned, the rating given, the appreciations and the negative parts are purely personal and honest.