Tiny Tina is throwing a Robot Tea Party. 'Nuff said.
Publisher: Nerdvana Games
Designer: Adam McCrimmon
Artist: Noelle Pugh
Game Type: Set Collection, Take That, Party Game
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 13+
Theme!? Read the title. No seriously. If that doesn’t tell you anything, you probably are not the target market. And if that title makes you jump up and down screaming expletives in your excitement for more of Tiny Tina’s irreverent nonsense, then you need no additional information.
Alright, let’s try to explain it anyway. There is a wildly popular series of Borderlands video games. These games are first person shooters that feature a huge amount of profanity, gore, and characters with extreme insanity. Tiny Tina is possibly the most insane of them all. She is an unstable, foul-mouthed 13 year old who takes naive childhood activities and fills them with explosives. She loves to blow up people and things.
The borderlands video games are certainly not without parental warnings. This board game is reasonably safe but wont have the same impact on a new player as it will on a fan of the video games.
Tiny Tina is throwing a Robot Tea Party. ‘Nuff said. Players have an easy set of steps to take each turn. In the satirical comments by Tiny Tina in the rulebook, players will “do stuff”, “scrap stuff”, and “get stuff” each turn.
The “do stuff” step allows players to put parts from their hand on their fancy, themed claptrap or on someone else’s claptrap. The goal is to fully build your own with all its matching parts. But you can throw a wrench in other the works by putting the wrong parts on your opponent’s claptraps.
The gameplay has a LOT of take that! The existence of bonus action cards adds a lot of excitement. Using them at the right time adds some good layers of strategy to the game. “Plus it’s dope. You should do it.”
I was so excited when this box was brought out of the bag. I had no idea they had made a game like this. Then I was told how they announced it. They had a big event at a convention and told everyone they had a new Borderlands game coming out. The crowd goes wild. Then they hold up this little box with some cards in it. And most of the crowd deflates. Not because they were going to dislike this game, but because they wanted another video game installment. Which was announced moments later. Well done on that. Well done.
The game is basically just a deck of cards and a few small claptrap bodies. And a rulebook. Never have I been so happy with a rulebook in my life. It is short and well written. But it also is teeming with Tina Tips written in the margin which make it even easier to understand and hilarious. Everything about this game seeps the thematic awesomeness that is the Borderlands franchise.
They even handwrote Tiny Tina in as a rules editor. Bravo to whoever wrote the original drafts and the real editor, Mikey Neumann. You are the best.
Each claptrap has its own specialized parts. The pirate, sherrif, wizard, gentleman, and traditional pizza-weilding CL4P-TP skins all have unique parts. There are also some wild components that work for any claptrap. Many borderlands characters appear in the action cards and everything just works.
So far my entire review is dripping in excitement. Do I really need to say more? Either you will share my excitement for more borderlands fun, or you wont. Either you can handle the occasional game with heavy take that elements, or you cannot. I hope many people get to share in the experience the way I did. This was worth it. All the worth it.
13+ for the thematic elements from the borderlands universe is fair. 13+ for the actual difficulty of gameplay is ludicrous! Didn’t realize that was how you spell ludicrous. It was worth learning just for this. I cannot find a single thing that justifies higher than 8 with just this product in my hand.
You need more information!? You should know by now if this is a game for you. Really, you should have known just by the TITLE! I am not giving you any more meaningful information. Just go get it. Pull the trigger (pun intended).
Joseph Summa has a degree in Engineering Physics from Rose-Hulman. He plays games for the competition and the community. His personal favorite type of games are deck-builders followed by worker placement games.