The Inquisitive Meeple takes a look at the children’s game, Tiny Park by HABA Games.
Before Barenpark, Cottage Garden or even Patchwork was a little HABA game that uses puzzle pieces on a personal board called, Mummy’s Treasure. Designed by Marco Teubner, (designer of such children games like My First Carcassonne and My First Stone Age) we find that in 2017 HABA decided to re-release Mummy’s Treasure with a new coat of paint and new theme, as Tiny Park. A game for 2-4 players, where players build their own personal amusement parks. Gameplay is super simple. There are 6 different shaped pieces that are stacked into matching piles. Players then take turns rolling stickered dice, Yahtzee-style (3 total rolls). If after your third roll, the dice match all of a given image on one of the playing pieces, you may collect the piece and place it on your board. Though it should be noted, players are only able to take one piece on thier turn. The first player to fill in their board wins the game.
While I really don’t see Tiny Park being a crossover hit with adults (playing without kids), like say, Rhino Hero or Animal Upon Animal (both also HABA games). It is very easy for kids to understand and seems like a solid game for the age range of 5 to 8-years old. Actually, I think this could be a great game for ages 7 and 8 to play with friends (or siblings), without any adult help (though intially the adults will need to sticker the dice). However, past the age of 8-years-old, kids may find something like Blokus or City Square Off to be more fun for thier age.
All this said, truth be told, my almost 9-year-old son, really seemes to like Tiny Park (going as far as calling it “really fun”) in our very limited plays (read:couple) of the game so far. I could also see this game being a good one to start younger children (read Kindergarten/1st Grade) on who are really to start playing games with some kind of choice invovled (most games for ages of 2-4 crowd don’t have choices or exteremly limited ones). Granted there is limited choices in Tiny Park, but at least there are some. For example, “Do I hold these dice and take something small or do I push my luck and go for a bigger piece that can help me finish my park first?”
Not only does Tiny Park introduce children to a easy to understand push-your-luck game (the aforemention do I hold my dice or risk it and go big), but will also introduces them to some spatially thinking in a game setting with the puzzle-like pieces. All of that, and it has the added bonus of being pretty easy to set up and play, even on the floor (not having to clear off a table for a game). Oh, and let’s not forget yet another added bonus: Tiny Park only takes about 10 mintues to play – so it is easy to sneak in a game before bedtime and will go by quickly if you don’t end of liking the game, but they love it.
Before we close, let note that something about the art on the tiles of Tiny Park. While the art may certainly be a draw for some people, I can also see it being a hinderance. Espeically for both brand new players, as well as, for younger players. This is because some of the art runs together and they may need help understanding what dice a tile requires. I provided some examples in the picture below , as this may be something parents want to consider before buying the game.
All-in-all, if you’re an adult with younger kid or wanting to kids board game present to a younger child, HABA’s Tiny Park is definitely one you may want to take a closer look at.
Note: HABA provided a free copy of Tiny Park to be reviewed on The Indie Game Report.