Welcome back friends, to another tabletop game review! We’ve got something that’s almost the exact opposite of my last review though, amusingly enough. Rather than a complex miniatures based strategy game, we’ll be looking at a remarkably straightforward card game. Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party, to be precise.
Based on the Borderlands franchise and published by XYZ Game Labs, Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party is a party card game based, amusingly enough, less on the character whose name is in the title but on the popular(?) robot buddy of the franchise, Claptrap.
How’s It Play?
Gameplay is remarkably simple. Up to five players pick from one of five Claptrap bodies-default, Wizard, Pirate, Gentleman, and Sheriff, and must collect the four body parts it’s missing (two arms, a hat, and a wheel) in order to complete the robot. Each body part is specific to a specific Claptrap, though there are a few wild cards mixed in there, meaning you’ll need to spend some time drawing cards in order to win.
On top of that there are Action Cards. There are a total of six types, divided into twenty-one total cards, shuffled in with the fifty-four Parts Cards. They’re all fairly straightforward, allowing you to stop cards from being played, steal another player’s card, draw from the discard pile, etc. Some of the cards have a smiling bomb symbol in the top left corner, which mark them as Bonus Action Cards. These can be played at any time (if they don’t have the smiling bomb, then you can only play them on your turn), even in reaction to someone else finishing their Claptrap.
Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party is, as I’ve said, simple. Every player picks a Claptrap Body and places it in front of them, then the cards are shuffled and put in the middle of the table. This is the draw pile, or Stash as the game calls it (#branding), with the discard pile (Scrapyard) built next to it.
The first player is chosen at random, and everyone gets three cards, then the first turn begins. Turns are split into three phases, though you skip the second phase on your first turn. First is the Build phase, in which you can either attach a Parts Card to a Claptrap body (even one that’s not yours, if you want to slow someone else down) or play an Action Card. You can’t do both, unless you’re playing an Action Card that allows you to do both.
Second is the Discard phase. Here you can discard any number of Parts Cards from your hand, but only ones of the same skin or type (so all the Pirate cards, or all the arm cards, that sort of thing). You can also discard Action Cards, by themselves or with parts. If you have more than five cards in your hand, discard until you only have five.
Finally, the Draw phase. Draw from the Stash until you have five cards. If you already have five, than you skip this phase. And if y’all have emptied out the Stash, shuffle the Scrapyard and flip it over to become the new Stash.
After that…well, that’s it, actually. Like I said up top, Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party is a fairly straightforward game. It’s designed to be quick (the box predicts a fifteen minute play time) and easy enough that it’ll fit even Tina’s attention span.
Fans of the Borderlands franchise will enjoy Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party’s excellent card art and amusing premise, and may get a chuckle out of the joking notes left on the rules sheet by Tiny Tina. And non fans…will still find an entirely enjoyable little card game that’s weird but easy to grasp. There’s no lore here, no plot, or characters, or anything like that. You don’t need to know Borderlands to enjoy this Robot Tea Party.
This isn’t exactly a must play card game. It’s not going to blow your mind, and unless you’re an obsessive Borderlands stan I can’t see this being your favorite card game. But that being said, it’s still an entirely pleasant, enjoyable, and fun way to spend some time. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, nor overcomplicate things. All in all, an entirely worthwhile addition to anyone’s card game collection.
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Images Provided By Gearbox Software And XYZ Game Labs
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