In an ever-growing market, saturated with more and more game releases, it can often times be hard to make a splash as a publisher. What AEG was able to do was really impressive. I can’t think of the last family style game that has had the same reception and hype as Tiny Towns. Somehow people had the release day marked on their calendars right along side all the big Kickstarter launches. Was this hype warranted? Well, frankly, yes.
Tiny towns is a puzzle game that will see players placing resources into their 4×4 town grid in preparation to build prestigious building that will earn them points. Each turn the lead player will name a resource and all players will add the resource somewhere into their town. Play will continue this way around the table until players have the required patterns of resources to add their respective buildings to their city. This will continue until each players city is either filled in with buildings or resources.
The game is very simple. Turns are quick. And the puzzle can be quite taxing. Trying to manage multiple patterns of resources within an ever shrinking space becomes real tricky. You will definitely be rewarded for being able to think quick on your feet, reacting to the various resources that your opponents name on their turns. I’ve played the game a few times and still have struggles translating the patters from the building cards to my player board in anything but the exact same orientation. It’s all I can do to puzzle through the influx of cubes.
A lot of people are really seeming to enjoy the game. This is probably because of the ratio between the puzzle the game presents and the ease of play. If we’re being perfectly honest, I haven’t even read the rule book. After watching a review or two you basically will know all the rules you’ll need to get up and running. Everything else you’ll need to know will be present on the building cards for your given game. And while 8 different building might be a lot to try and manage building, don’t fret. You can probably remain competitive building just 4-5 of them if you lay your resources right. Get it? Like “play your cards right”?
Unfortunately it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are some changes that I would definitely prefer. One would be more player interaction. The fact that the game scales from 1-6 players with no additional rules added shows how little player interaction the game actually has. And while I enjoy plenty of multiplayer solitaire games, this just feel like it could really use it. It would increase the decision space into a realm of something other than spatial.
I’ll point you to my video to hear what more I have to say. But while I have a few more minor quibbles with the game itself, there is no denying that this game has caught the hobby off guard. It has been quite a while since a regular retail release has garnered this much attention. I believe the last game to fit that description would be Wingspan. That’s pretty good company if you ask me. So if you get a chance to play the game I recommend it. And if AEG’s track record is any indication, then the largish box is just the right size for the unavoidable onslaught of expansions they’ve got in store for the game.