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Tiny Epic Defenders, 2017 Edition Review (Kickstarter)

Tiny Epic Defenders is a cooperative, “tower defense”-style game for 1-4 players, designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games. It was originally released in 2015.

A new edition of the game will launch, along with its expansion – The Dark War – on Oct. 5th, 2017. All photos are from a prototype.

I am going to do this review in three parts, the first two of which I will present in this blog entry. First, I will cover my basic impressions of TED, 2015 edition. Then I will compare the first edition with the second edition, both in terms of gameplay changes and art updates. In a separate entry, I will give a full review of TED: The Dark War expansion.

That’s a lot. I hope it all makes sense in the end!

My (brief) review of Tiny Epic Defenders, 2015 edition

On release, Tiny Epic Defenders earned a mixed reaction from critics and other gamers. Radho really liked the game, Tom Vasel really disliked the game, and you had a whole bunch of other reactions in between – go look up those reviews on the TED BGG page, if you are curious. I liked my plays of TED, rating it a 7 for the following reasons:




Comparison of Tiny Epic Defenders, 2015 Edition vs. 2017 Edition

Understandably, some gamers felt a bit cheated by Gamelyn’s decision to completely overhaul a game released only two years ago. We spoke with Michael Coe about the relaunch decision on the Every Night is Game Night podcast, which you could listen to here.

Before I get into the changes and whether I think they are worth it, I’d like to point out some things that haven’t changed.

So, what has changed? Check out some differences in the rulebook:

Here are some more changes, evident on the game materials themselves:

Wait, hold on…


2015 TED pictured to the left, 2017 TED (prototype) pictured to the right

Final Verdict – Should you back this game if you own the old version?

Put very simply, the 2017 version of Tiny Epic Defenders makes many desirable changes to the 2015 version. I think the cosmetic changes in this new version are all welcome. If TED was an app and you only had to pay a buck or two to for an upgrade, this would be a no-brainer! Since it’s a whole new copy of the game, though, you need to make the decision for yourself whether the cosmetic upgrades are worth it to you.

As far as gameplay changes, I like the overall direction: mitigating the randomness and bending difficulty just a bit towards the Epic Foes. That’s how it should be! If you had a bad time with the 2015 edition, maybe the new rules will do enough to bring you back on board. If you liked the older version, though, and you can find room in your gaming budget, then you won’t be disappointed.

Next: Tiny Epic Defenders: The Dark War Review (Kickstarter)
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