Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quick Review - Tiny Epic Defenders

Tiny Epic Defenders
Designer: Scott Almes
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Quick Review - Sword & Skull
Tiny Epic Defenders by Gamelyn Games is a small box collaborative game in which players work together to defend the capitol city.  The game is currently on Kickstarter (ending in the morning) at and is fully funded by more than $140,000 over its $15,000 goal as of this writing.  The game is brought to you by the same people that created Tiny Epic Kingdoms, another smashing Kickstarter success.  Since the game is not yet available I played the free Print and Play version to give it a run through.  Only $16 will get you the base game (which will have more cards than my PnP version), $24 will get you the deluxe version with even more cards. There is also an $8 PnP version on Kickstarter that will have all the final artwork and cards for both versions.

The game consists of a number of cards, several marker tokens, and several meeple tokens for each player.  There are 7 land cards, 4 hero cards, 3 Epic Foe cards, 4 Dire Enemies, a number of Monster Horde cards, and a number of Artifact cards.  For all the cards (except Land) there are more in the Kickstarter versions than what I had available.  This should allow for even more varied and complex games.

The concept is simple; each player gets three actions on their turn to move about the board (which consists of six land cards arranged in a circle around the Capitol card), repairing damage to the Lands, defending against monster attacks, and regaining health when possible.  The unique part of the game mechanic is the Turn Deck.  In this deck there are both player cards and monster cards.  Players only get to take their turn when their card comes up in the Turn Deck.  Once the Turn Deck is exhausted another monster card gets added.  The game increases in difficulty as the game progresses because there are more and more monsters and the players don't get to take any more turns (although they can acquire artifacts that will help them in their battles by battling Dire Enemies).

Gameplay is simple to teach and learn and the game goes pretty quickly.  We played a four player game and everyone had a pretty good time.  It started slow in the beginning and was pretty easy to keep everything defended, but gradually chaos ensued and pretty soon areas were falling left and right.  Eventually our Capitol fell and we didn't lay a single hand on the Epic Foe.  Yes, we played our first game at the Epic difficulty level and that was probably a mistake, but it was still a ton of fun.  There was good interaction between all the players and it was often a struggle to figure out what the best move would be.  We definitely want to play again and I'm strongly considering backing the Kickstarter (if my wife will let me spend the money... I seem to be spending a lot of money on games lately).  At the very least I think I'll back the $8 PnP so I can get all the new cards and cool new artwork.  If you read this while there's still time, I highly suggest grabbing a copy.  The price is great and I'm not sure if it'll be sold in stores after the Kickstarter or how much it'll be if it is.  Tiny Epic Defenders is a very fun game!

Preliminary Rating: 8/10
Our game, shortly after the Ruins had fallen.
Not long after this nearly the entire kingdom was burning.

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GJJG Game Reviews are independent, unpaid reviews of games I, George Jaros, have played with his family and friends.  Some of these games I own, some are owned by friends, some are borrowed, and some are print and play versions of games.  Where applicable I will indicate if games have been played with kids or adults or a mix (Family Play).  I won't go into extensive detail about how to play the game (there are plenty of other sources for that information and I'll occasionally link to those other sources), but I will give my impressions of the game and how my friends and family reacted to the game.  First Play Impression reviews will only get a single rating of 1-10 (low-high) based on my first impressions of the game during my first time playing.  Hopefully I'll get more chances to play the game and will be able to give it a full review soon.

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