Tiny Epic Quest is a 1-4 player fantasy game from Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games. It was released in 2017 and was the first Tiny Epic game to include ITEMeeples.
In Tiny Epic Quest, players will control three heroes and set out to travel the world that has become ravaged with evil Goblins. The heroes must perform quests, slay Goblins, collect legendary weapons and items, and learn powerful magic spells. All epic sounding stuff packed in to a small box.
Does Tiny Epic Quest deliver the epic quest feel? How does it play? Read on to find out more.
Each player receives a player card of their chosen colour, three heroes, one health token and one max health token placed on the six space of their player board, one power token and one max power token placed on the number three space of their player board and one adventure card.
The Legendary items (Sword, Shield and Staff) are placed on the players board on the left hand space. The Magic Card is placed on the table along with each players Spell tokens on the zero space and the Magic token on the first space of the Magic Track.
The Round card is placed on the table with the Round Token placed on the first space. The Land Map is created by placing the Map cards in a set orientation as detailed in the rule book. Once the Map is created each player places their three heroes on the Castle space matching their colour.
Goblin tokens are added face-up (green, passive side) on all seven of the goblin portals. The five Movement cards are set out along with three face-up Quest Cards. All other components such as the Treasure Items and dice are placed on the table ready for when needed.
Tiny Epic Quest Review - ITEMeeples (Credit: Gamelyn Games)
Tiny Epic Quest Gameplay
The game is played over five rounds, with each round having a Day phase and a Night phase.
The Day Phase in Tiny Epic Quest involves players moving around the board and performing quests. Some quests are movement type quests which can be completed during the day, whereas some are treasure quests which involve exploring a certain Temple for a specific item.
The Day phase consists of four turns, irrespective of player count, and movement is controlled by the Movement cards. There are five Movement cards (foot, horse, raft, gryphon and ship) to choose from and these dictate how the players move. For example, moving by horse allows player to horizontally to any new Map card.
The first player selects a Movement card and can choose to either move or remain idle. All other players then choose to either move as detailed on the selected Movement card or remain idle. Then, going clockwise, each other player selects a Movement card and the process is repeated. This happens until four out of the five Movement cards have been selected and the Night phase begins. Once a Movement card has been selected it cannot be used again that turn and is flipped face down.
When idling, if a player has at least one hero in any player's castle they gain one power or one health up to their maximum.
The Map cards have a left and a right region, and players can choose which region on the Map card they end their turn. The regions include Temples that let players potentially gain Legendary weapons or items during the night phase. Spell Obelisks allow players to learn spells during the night phase, Goblin Portals which allow players to fight a Goblin during the night phase and Mushroom Grottos that have an immediate action and are not activated during the night phase.
When moving through a Map card that contains an aggressive Goblin (red side) the player must spend one power and flips the Goblin to its passive side.
During the Night Phase in Tiny Epic Quest, players will take turns rolling five Adventure Dice, attempting to gain items by exploring Temples, learn spells at the Obelisks and kill Goblins at the Portals. The start player rolls the dice and resolves them in a specific order;
- Any Goblin symbols rolled deal damage which is distributed clockwise starting with the start player. So, if three Goblin symbols are rolled in a two-player game, player one takes one damage, player two takes one damage and player one takes another damage.
- Any Power symbols rolled grants players Power up to their Maximum. This is distributed in the same way as the damage above.
- Any Mushroom symbols rolled Conjure Magic. The Magic token is advanced one space on the Magic track for each Mushroom rolled. Depending on the amount of magic conjured and the spell attempting to be learned will determine if the players are successful or not. For example, if a player is trying to learn a spell that is two levels above their current spell level the Magic token must advance to the second level on the Magic track. However, the higher the Magic token progresses the more negative effects of the dice roll occur. The Goblins do more damage, the Power symbols don't give Power etc. If a player is trying to learn a spell two levels above their current level and the Magic track only moves up one level before the player rests then the no spells are learnt that turn.
- Any Torches and Scrolls are used to explore Temples and all players can use these symbols simultaneously. The Temples have a certain requirement for the number of Torches or Scrolls to advance through. For example, the Ice Temple requires one torch, then one more torch and then two torches and then a further two torches. Players can spend two power to "Forge Ahead" - effectively giving themselves another torch or scroll.
- All players can use all the Punch Symbols to attack Goblins. For every Punch symbol rolled one damage is inflicted by each player (not each Hero) to a Goblin. If a player is attacking two Goblins they can't use one symbol to inflict one damage on both Goblins. If the Goblin is attacked five times it is killed and the player takes the token from the board.
When the dice have been resolved they are passed to the next player that rolls them and resolves them in the same manner as listed above. Play continues this way until all players have flipped the Adventure Card to the Rest side. When Resting you are safe from the Goblin Attacks, but don't get to take part in resolving the dice (i.e. gaining Power or Torches/Scrolls).
When a player has decided to rest any Heroes on Portals, Obelisks or the last space of the Temple must return to the castle and receives the corresponding reward (Item, magic spell etc). Any Heroes on a Castle, Grotto or Temple track that is not the last space must remain. Players receive one Health or one Power for each Hero returned to the castle.
If a player has killed a Goblin they increase their Max Health by one for each Goblin killed. For every spell level learnt players increase their Max Power by one.
Each Legendary item requires the player to explore two different temples in a specific order to obtain the item. Once the first temple has been explored for one of the items it is moved along the track to remind players that they have completed that temple and can move on to the second temple.
Playing Tiny Epic Quest (Credit: Gamelyn Games)
End of Round
Once all players have Rested, the Magic Token is moved back the first space on the Magic Track, any Passive Goblins still displayed are flipped to their Aggressive side, any empty Goblin Portals are filled with Passive Goblins, the movement cards are made available again, the first player token passes clockwise and the round marker is advanced. If no players have taken a Quest card in this round the left most quest is discarded and a new Quest is revealed.
At the end of the fifth round the final scores are calculated and the player with the most points wins.
Final Thoughts on Tiny Epic Quest
For anyone that has read any of my other reviews/previews on the Tiny Epic games you will know that I like the series. Tiny Epic Quest is no exception. I love the fantasy theme in general and a Tiny Epic game about killing Goblins, exploring Temples to find Legendary weapons and items, learning Magic spells and travelling about the world on horseback, by raft or by boat is something that massively appeals.
It feels like a fantasy story. Yes, some people say the ITEMeeples are a big gimmick but so what? I think a Meeple holding a Legendary sword and shield fighting a Goblin or a Meeple holding a Staff in a front of an Obelisk trying to learn a spell looks cool. All of this is packed in to a small box.
There is also a solo variant which works really well and is a "beat your score" kind of thing. The solo mode is still fun and lets you experiment and see how far you can push your luck before playing competitively.
Both the solo and competitive mode have a quick play time with a two-player game taking around 30-40 minutes and a solo game being slightly quicker.
If you like the Tiny Epic series I am sure you will like this one if the theme appeals. If you have never played one before this could be a good place to start. This was my first Tiny Epic. Tiny Epic Quest is a good addition to the line and I highly recommend.