AEG sent along a copy of Tiny Towns in anticipation of my thrilling match-up against Rahdo. Knowing nothing about the game (as usual), i peeled of the shrink wrap and got down to bidness.
HI! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is a game called Tiny Towns, sent to me by the fine people at AEG. i know almost nothing about Tiny Towns. Just from what i’ve read on the back of the box, it appears that some furry woodland creatures are building… tiny towns, which of course, at first brings to mind Everdell, where you have woodland creatures building tiny towns, but in that game, the tiny towns were built out of flat cards, and in this game, they are built in glorious 3D Technicolor wood! And the back of the box does, indeed, list a whole pile of wood that you’re gonna find inside. We’ll find out very shortly. But it also is a… pattern-matching g… i dunno if we’ll call the mechanic that. Pattern matching? i haven’t looked it up on Board Game Geek to see if that’s what they’ve listed it as, but this looks like AEG’s answer to Sagrada and Azul, if i were to guess, because you have cards, as we’ll soon see… ah, what am i talking for? Let’s just open the thing, and we’ll find out! So much blah blah blah, when you can just open the darned box, Ry. Dee de dee…. Look: i know you don’t have all day to watch me open a box. i almost don’t have all day to open a box. i got STUFF to do. i can’t be opening boxes all day… Here we are. (box shuddering sounds) Huh! A little effort required, but Box Fart-O-Meter: zero. You know, not a lot of games are ranking on the old Box Fart-O-Meter these days. Maybe (laughing) maybe box technology has reached a point where there are no more box farts? i dunno. Me? i don’t mind a little box fart. It’s fine! Instruction booklet, off the top: “Welcome!” Oh, how nice. “You are the mayor of…” et cetera. This is a game for 1-6 players, it says. Interesting. A game that you can play solo. That’s great, because i don’t have a lot of friends to play board games with me, so i love a solo game! But i’ve never actually played a game solo, because i’m not a loser. (laughing) What are we lookin’ at? Instruction b… it’s very big. Instruction booklet. It’s the size of the box. Gorgeous, full-colour illustrations. Big. The text isn’t too cramped. i always know i’m in for a treat when the text is like “Nyehhhh… magnifying glass.” No, but it looks well laid-out, from what i can tell at a glance. And not too long, either. This is only an eight-page rulebook, so. Alrighty. We have a pad of scoresheets, which always – i’ve mentioned this before – it always gives me anxiety, because i’m like “Ohh, what if i run out, and i’ll never be able to buy more?” And then i look at my old games, and i’ve got – you know – three used sheets off the top of the pad, so… i’m no longer worried about running out. Uh… what…. Ahh! What should i look at first? Here’s all the wood – that’s exciting. Let’s crack open the player boards first. They look like THIS, which… i mean, they’re pretty vanilla. Very reminiscent of Agricola’s player boards. Cards, cards, wood. Let’s go – let’s go wood. (humming) A lot o’ wood… said the lumberjack’s wife to the lumberjack. Uh… i dunnoAHH i dunno how to make sense of everything! These are buildings! Buildings for your tiny towns! And this one looks like a building that would house… candy. And THIS one looks like a building that would house… candy? It’s really wishful thinking on my part. i just really like… candy. Some wooden tokens here, standard cubes, but in nonstandard colours. i mean, grey and brown we’ve seen before. Yellow…. oh, maybe they ARE standard colours? i dunno. Maybe that blue is just new to me, so… fancy teal cubes. More buildings. More buildings. More buildings. Lots of different buildings. THIS weird th…oh. Right, okay. So i read about this on the back of the box. i’m like “What the heck is this?” It’s a sailboat with a very long mast! It’s uh…. Gepetto’s wooden leg! i dunno. He… did he have…? No, he had a puppet. What’s going on? This is a hammer. i imagine this is starten spielen token, cuz i’m smart like that. And pink… ah, it’s nice to see pink components in a game. That’s cute. These look like little castle-y rook sort of things. You know what? i’ve never heard a castle called a “rook” outside of chess in my life. It’s never like “i’m going to Scotland to visit the ROOKS!” So where did that word come from? i’m gonna go look it up and then be embarrassed, or maybe when somebody comments they’ll be like “No, you idiot, it [nuh nuh nuh]” Okay. Bird? i’ve heard of a b… what am i talkin’ about? There’s round tokens … i’ve lost the plot entirely … and cards! Let’s look at some cards. This has to be salvageable somehow. Nice tight wrapping but no nice rip strips, so i don’t know how i’m going to get into this other than chiselling. Oh – i have this knife. Oh! So nerve-wracking. i don’t wanna wreck the cards. (nervous humming) i don’t have a very steady knife hand, which is why they won’t let me do surgery. And probably the only reason why they won’t let me do surgery. Here are the cards, as i mentioned… or i was trying to convey… before we just dove right in. It’s a very Sagrada/Azul-y kind of thing, where there are patterns, and you, presumably, have to make these patterns on your board with cubes, and then that equals pink castle! “Obelisk of the Cresent.” It’s very… That’s how forest creatures talk. obvi… “Shrine of the Elder Tree. i am a field mouse.” Uh… right. So i presume that you make these patterns with the cubes on your board, and then you’re able to construct the buildings depicted on the cards. So a very sort of Minecraft crafting table sort of aesthetic, or schtick. This one is a different-sized card, and it does have a little glue-y fold. And this is… this is (laughs) the easiest building pattern in the game. “Oh, yellow cube! i win!” No – i have no idea. i guess… these… all refer to one resource… are these just cards where you store the resources? i don’t know! But i will as soon as i read the instruction booklet which, as usual, is required for me to know a single darn thing about the game. Maybe we can pull clues out of the scoring sheet? You score for…. as you… your name goes across the top. So far so good. It’s like Mensa up in here! And then i assume points for each type of building that you build? And then, like uh, what is that game? Like Patchwork, you lose points? i guess? For not having certain spaces on your bir-board filled up, and then you mathemagic the whole thing together, come up with a total score, and off you go. Looks pretty straightforward. Really simple. i’m not surprised that the rulebook is only eight pages, because i can almost figure out how to play without even reading it. i would never BE that bold, but i WILL read it, and i’ll make a How to Play video for it, which you can watch and enjoy with all of your friends. Thank you for watching this one. Uh… Tiny Towns. (Did it fade out yet?) 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Get Your Own Copy of Tiny Towns
Tiny Towns is a pattern matching game in the spirit of Azul or Sagrada. If you don’t have either of those in your board game collection (or you do and you absolutely love them), consider picking up your own copy of Tiny Towns. Use the Amazon link below, and i’ll receive a small commission.
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