In Tiny Epic Galaxies, players are racing against each other to build the most powerful galactic empire in order to declare dominance over their opponents. This game is about taking chances, blocking your opponents and throwing a handful of dice.
Tiny Epic Galaxies uses dice rolling with Yahtzee-style mechanics to determine the actions you can take on your turn. The first re-roll is free, however you can continue re-rolling your dice by spending an additional energy resource each time. Dice results can also be manipulated in other ways, most especially through the special powers offered by certain planet cards when using a move action to activate those planets. All that is to say while Tiny Epic Galaxies introduces some luck-based elements in the game, mainly through rolling dice, there are ways to mitigate the effects so that you don’t get completely screwed on your turn.
In addition to moving onto planets, other actions include acquiring resources, energy and culture respectively, to upgrade your galactic empire, thereby unlocking more dice and ships to use in future turns. As well, upgrading your empire gives you a significant boost in victory points, bringing you ever closer to triggering the game's end and potentially capturing the win. And the reason why I say “potentially" is because each player has a secret mission card, where if the requirements of the mission are met, players will receive extra points that could spell the difference between an epic win or crushing defeat!
The final way to accumulate victory points is by colonizing planets from the main row of cards in front of the players. Diplomacy and economy rolls are needed in order to bring a planet under your control, which not only means that you get the points belonging to it, but the planet’s special power becomes exclusively yours to take advantage of. Over the course of the game, your galaxy will transform into something unique, while providing you with a set of powers that can be used to aid your personal agenda and hinder your opponent’s.
If there’s one mechanism from Tiny Epic Galaxies that I enjoy the most, it's being able to follow another player’s die actions by spending a culture resource. This simple mechanic keeps everyone fully engaged throughout every moment of the game, as players determine for themselves when it’s best to follow an action. Following players also keeps the game tense, helping to eliminate the possibility of having a runaway leader.
For a small box game, the component quality in Tiny Epic Galaxies is top notch. The dice are engraved, not screen-printed, and surprisingly they have a marble finish on them, which does a great job of thematically evoking the vast empty void of space! The custom wooden spaceships are also a nice touch, further tying into the theme of the game. Lastly, the box and cards have been upgraded to a nice linen stock. Needless to say, Gamelyn Games did not cut any corners with their production quality.
One more thing that I wanted to give an approving nod to Gamelyn Games for is how the box lid doubles as a dice tray and the bottom as a rules reference, meaning that literally all parts of the game are being utilized and there isn’t any clutter on the table. It’s the tiny epic details that further add to the enjoyment of this already great game!
Tiny Epic Galaxies is a wonderful game that can be enjoyed by players of all experience levels. It’s an easy stepping-stone from a gateway game to something with a bit more strategy, especially if you have friends who are familiar with the King of Tokyo/New York series. For more advanced players, this title works best as a medium-weight filler before jumping into a heavier game. However, with the Beyond the Black expansion arriving sometime this year, Tiny Epic Galaxies might just be the main event for many of your gaming nights to come!
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