Review: Tiny Epic Dinosaurs – even dinosaurs can be tiny
When my grandfather bought an island in the Atlantic for all his fortune, he probably couldn’t have imagined what he would look like one day. It used to be an abandoned and not very attractive looking island, but it has been my home since I was a child. But in the end, I left him and he was in the right place at the right time, when the crazy scientists were looking for a place for their experiments. They succeeded and we now export dinosaurs to all corners of the world.
Like any game in the Tiny Epic series, dinosaurs cannot exceed the popular small format of these games. On its lid we see a lot of lounging cubs, which do a very good advertisement for the farm in the background. Inside, a number of smaller and larger cards await the player, but above all a huge number of small wooden dinosaur figures.
But back to the cards, because each player gets one big card showing his farm, or a map of the ranch. To do this, he will also take another card, which will serve as a tray for individual sources and animal friends. It is here that he places the starting figures of the farmers (one boss and three ordinary workers) and places indicators of the state of plants, meat and supplies on the scale.
In the middle of the table is a place for a card with a wheel counter, where everyone puts their last rancher. He will also place four action cards, contract boards, and research in a row in the center of the table. He places decks of cards on them and creates an offer next to them corresponding to the number of participants (or exactly three in the case of research). The other two will be awarded to individual players. All dinosaurs will remain hidden in the supply for now.
Each game has a total of six rounds and it always starts with the gain of resources. Each resource symbol on the farm that is not eaten by a dinosaur (a figure in that position) means one new addition to the supply. Then the players can send their workers (ranchers) to the individual action squares in the middle of the table. Players take turns and always have a chance to send one of their farmers, pay any costs and then have to give their opponents a chance. You can also send a messenger to a place that is already occupied, you just need to have a numerical advantage (send a worker more than the opponent has).
As a result of the actions, players can gain research cards (bring benefits or points at the end), dinosaurs or resources. The hunt of ancient and revived creatures is not entirely easy, so the player’s farmers may be harmed and must be moved to an infirmary. But they can also be lucky and even find dinosaur fits that will bring them a second friend. The cube decides on that. In the same way, players can acquire barriers or fulfill contracts by handing them over.
After taking advantage of the actions, players take back their workers and then place their newly acquired dinosaurs or barriers, creating enclosures. More than one creature of the same species can settle in it, one dinosaur for each square. At the same time, however, players are deprived of profit by overlapping income icons with pieces. Players must then feed all their housed dinosaurs with the help of accumulated pieces of meat or plants. Some farmed creatures may try to escape, either because their enclosure is incomplete or because they have not received their rations.
At the end of each round, it is time for the birth of new cubs, if the player meets the condition that there are more dinosaurs of the same species in the enclosure. From this is an egg and from it a new dinosaur is born, which its proud owner can place in a free place in the corral.
The game always ends fairly and regularly after the sixth round. Individual participants will receive points for fulfilled contract cards, bonuses from research cards and their collection of dinosaurs that remained in the enclosures and did not escape. The one who has the most points in total becomes the winner and the best dinosaur breeder.
Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is a worker-placement dinosaur in which you take care of your own farm, and especially its dinosaurs. At the heart, however, the main task is to send the rancher figures to common places, of which there is a sufficient selection in the middle. In addition, players do not block in positions, but it is possible to use the action more than once per round, if someone is willing to pay more pieces.
Thanks to the animals, the important management of raw materials also comes into play so that the ancient creatures always have something to eat. But by placing the dinosaur on their farm, players are also losing some of their resources for the next rounds. In addition to these characters, however, everyone must also think about securing fences, which will delimit the enclosures of their pets.
In the end, the basis for scoring are contract cards, which have two types. Public and secret hidden in hand. Through them, players sell their raised and spoiled dinosaurs and send them to the world. But the fulfillment of those private orders by hand is possible in a round in which the player completes one of the public ones. And this is very restrictive for all participants, because then you spend a lot of time just preparing.
However, players will constantly compete for positions or card fulfillment within the game. Thanks to that, the game is very balanced and exciting. At the same time, all information about the situation of the opponents is public, so it is possible to arrange accordingly. Everyone then tries to use the element of surprise with the cards in hand. In addition, all dinosaurs need to be fed, otherwise it may not turn out well.
The biggest attractions are, of course, dinosaurs and farming. The offer includes allosaurs, brachiosaurs, velociraptors and stegosaurs. So such a classic. It is clear that no one will breed a tyrannosaur or plesiosaur. The collection of pieces itself has a strong motivation, because players can expand their collection further, as dinosaur pairs reproduce. Also of interest are the research cards that change the game and your tactics for the better.
But the game itself is not so simple or fast. There are more actions to choose from, so the moves do not run completely smoothly. Overall, you need an hour of time for the whole farm, as with any slightly larger game. There is also a solo variant on offer, but this is not the best. Fortunately, the numbers of participants are all appropriate and do not limit the experience in any way.
Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is a nice game. If you like dinosaurs, then this is a clear bet. But it will also please all lovers of worker-placement, quick preparation or taking care of any creature. In the end, the epic feeling from other games in the series is missing, but even so, Tiny Epic Dinosaurs did not disappoint us. They just aren’t exceptional.
Review: Tiny Epic Dinosaurs – even dinosaurs can be tiny
Tiny Epic Dinosaurs probably has nothing to surprise at the beginning, because it builds on the classic broadcast of workers and the effort to perform the right actions at the right time. Fortunately, he has several aces up his sleeve, whether it's processing or mixing with secret tasks. But the basis is ultimately the behavior and reproduction of dinosaurs, which are the biggest attractions for players. Together, dinosaurs aren't the best game in the series, but the Tiny Epic Dinosaurs still don't embarrass and entertain.
Reader Rating0 Votes
+ good mix of elements
+ beautiful dinosaur figurines
+ secret contracts
+ dinosaurs can escape
= secret contracts can be fulfilled only after public ones