As the name implies, one of the selling points of the line is that they come in small boxes. For me, small storage space and small footprint and relatively short playing time are all appealing.
But I still stand by my mantra that a small game or a short game still has to measure up. I will admit that I will give the game points for being good for it size but what I am really looking for is a game that's just plain good.
Tiny Epic Quest, at least at first blush, felt like it was definitely good for the size of the game and the length of the game but I'm not sure it's just plain good. Frankly, that's because it's a genre I don't play a lot of.
For some reason, I tend to think of Adventure Games, where you control a hero with stats exploring the countryside as a subsection of Dungeon Crawls, even though the other way around makes more sense. Adventure Games tend to have less discrete actions while some Dungeon Crawls have you play out every step.
Tiny Epic Quest has you send three heroes around a map made up of cards. They explore temples, learn magic and fight goblins. Each round has a day where you move around and a night where you have your adventures.
The mechanics for the night are pretty simple but interesting. The active player rolls the five dice that come with the game. Any goblin heads get passed around and give each person who gets one a point of damage. Any power symbols get passed around in the same way and give people power points. Magic raises the magic level, required for learning magic. And everyone gets to uses scrolls, torches and punches to further their adventures.
When it's your turn, you can choose to rest or roll the dice. So, the game ends up being a push-your-luck game with some resource management (hit points are a resource after all)
To be honest, when I think about it, it's kind of an odd central mechanism for an adventure game. At least in my very limited experience. And, intellectually, I can't help but wonder if it's a little too random. However, I did have fun when I played it and I would play it again.
My real question is: would I actually buy it?
That's actually a rather interesting question. On the one hand, I know that there are deeper and more interesting games about tramping around a magical land and exploring rules and fighting monsters. On the other hand, that's not the kind of game I play a lot and one that takes up a small spot on the game shelf and plays fairly quickly is desirable.