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Tiny Towns Solo Review

tiny towns (1)

Tiny Towns by AEG, became an instant hit with me from the moment I played it. It was a few years ago, back at the UKGamesExpo. After seeing numerous reviews on YouTube, I was excited to finally get around to playing it. Like with most popular games at the Expo, we had to wait a little bit to actually get to sit down and play. We eventually sat down, as a group of six I think, A few minutes later and with little time spent dwelling on the rules, we were off.

Simple & Addictive

As I mention before, learning the rules to Tiny Towns took such a short amount of time. It’s a simple game of placing resource cubes onto your four by four grid. When you get enough resources to match a pattern for one of the many buildings, you can remove all those cubes and add that building to your town. You must place it in one of the spaces where you removed the cubes. Each building has its own unique way of scoring, but I’ll get into that a bit later.

As your town builds up with more of these little buildings, you will slowly start running out of space to make the patterns required. This makes the puzzle of the game increasingly difficult, as you try to make buildings with the space remaining.

Sometimes you will end up with resources you do not want laying around in your town, there are a few special buildings that could help you get rid of these, but if you ever fill your grid and cannot build then that’s game over for you. Each space without a building (space with an unused resource cube) will score you minus one point.

Finishing early does mean you will have to sit and wait patiently for the other players, to find out who the winner is once everyone has completed their own tiny town. From my experience even finishing the game last doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to have the best town. It’s all about knowing what buildings will fit in well and score better with each other.

Ever Changing Town

Although you will always use the same little coloured wooden buildings, the actual buildings they represent will vary from game to game. This is achieved by having a variety of cards for each set of coloured buildings. The little dark green buildings for example could be a tavern one game, then a Inn the next. These do sound like small changes, but there is a lot more to it than just a simple name change. Each building will have its own unique pattern of materials you will need to match in order to build them. They will all score differently, and some will have abilities that will help you through the game. Each player will also have their own unique construction to build, that is only available to them. These are called monuments. Each one has its own unique pattern and special scoring ability and in-game bonus.

With the amount of different buildings available, it means no one game of Tiny Towns is ever the same. It is something that is so simple, changing the patterns and how the buildings score, but it makes for a fantastic amount of re-playability.

Doing It Alone

Tiny Towns have very minimal player interaction and as I mentioned earlier, you will keep playing until you fill your grid. This often means some players will end their game a lot sooner than others. Although that maybe a down side for playing with higher player counts, it actually makes for a great solo game.

The only real player interaction comes with players naming resources and you placing those resources on your board. How does this work with just one person playing the game? A small deck of cards, each featuring a different one of the resources, will replace the other players turns. This still gives you a random selection of resources you have to place in your town, which replaces the other players turns.

How Do You Win Playing Solo

With no one to compare scores to, how do you win at Tiny Towns solo? Well to be honest, like in most solo games there is not very much a sense of winning or losing. The idea is really to improve your score and to play the game better. In the Tiny Towns rulebook, the solo section has a set of scores to beat. These range from aspiring architect (scoring less than 9 points) to master architect (scoring 38 points or higher). I myself have never beat master architect, my highest score being 37, achieving a town planner score. Missing it by only one point, but if anything it just drives me to want to play it more. It’s a great solo challenge and I still strive to one day beat my high score and become a master architect.

Final Thoughts

Tiny Towns doesn’t have a whole lot of player interaction as it is, this makes it the perfect solo game. With a deck of cards easily replacing the role of another player, you will hardly notice the difference. You will still enjoy the same great puzzle of a game by yourself, as you would with other people. If anything, I honestly think I prefer playing Tiny Towns solo. There is no time spent waiting for other players trying to solve the puzzle of their own towns. You can enjoy it at your own pace. No rushed decisions because other people are waiting for you. There is also no waiting around when you finish your tiny town, I often jump straight into another game after scoring up my town. As a big fan of solo games, Tiny Towns offers so much that appeals to me. Set up is short and sweet. Gameplay is simple yet trying to decide where to place everything is challenging. A fantastic puzzle of a game, that has tons of re-playability. A must for the collection of any solo player!

That concludes our solo thoughts on Tiny Towns. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Tiny Towns today click here!