Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is a worker placement game that packs away into a conveniently small box making it perfect for taking out and about with you. In this game, players take on the role of dinosaur ranchers, each vying for the award of best dinosaur ranch.
I first picked up Tiny Epic Dinosaurs a couple of years ago as my husband loves Dinosaurs and I thought it would make a great gift for him. I'd never played any of the Tiny Epic series before and was keen to give it a try based on the small size and therefore perceived practicality of taking it away on holiday with us.
I was immediately impressed by the size of this game and the brightness of the box. Upon opening, the bright colours and compact size continue inside. I was a little concerned at first due to the small size of the little dinosaurs and meeples as well as the resource tokens as they are smaller than a 5 pence piece! The artwork is a fun cartoony style and this again is continued across the components. The rule book felt quite hefty for such a small game but for a worker placemen game, it's actually not too long at all and it also has a separate set of rules at the end of the book for solo play. The rulebook also has a handy QR code you can scan to take you to an instructional video on how to play.
Game Play Overview
Each Player is trying to build their own Dinosaur Ranch and be the best in town. The game is played over 6 rounds with each round consisting of various phases where players will collect resources, assign ranchers to tasks such as wrangling dinosaurs, building enclosures, undertaking research and gathering resources as well as arranging your ranch and feeding your dinosaurs. Whilst wrangling dinosaurs the die is rolled to see how successful you are, this can result in injury or bonus dinosaurs! In the process of building up the prestige of your ranch, you will also be completing various contracts. At the end of the 6th round, players then tally up there scores from completed contracts, research and dinosaurs collected. The player with the most points wins.
Pros and Cons
Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is a great, fun, little game. The pieces are all tiny (as I would expect from a game with Tiny in it's name!) which has the potential for them to get lost easily, however with how brightly coloured all the pieces are, I would be surprised if you managed to lose one if you knew you'd dropped it! The cards follow in the same tiny fashion as the pieces, and therefore if your eyesight isn't the best, you may struggle to read the research cards, however the images are nice and clear and the contract cards are easy to see which dinosaurs you need to fulfil them. The game play has been well thought out and various mechanics in the game not only make you think about what your priorities are each round but also add an element of suspense. We felt the game was easy to learn and every game feels different as it very much depends on which contracts and research comes out each game as to what strategy is best to follow. There are plenty of research and contract cards which means that you are likely to see new cards many games after your first.
Overall, this is one of our favourite games to play of an evening! The variety between games and the challenge of wrangling the dinosaurs make it exciting throughout and the theme is well incorporated. The design is fun and eye-catching and provided your eyesight isn't poor you shouldn't have too much issue with the size of the writing on the cards. It's a great game to play not only when you're away but also at home.
In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9/10