Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse (Saturday Review)

Release Date: 2015Players: 2 (only)
Designer: Kate Beckett, David Rene MillerLength:  5-10 minutes
Artist: David Rene MillerAge: 10+
Publisher: subQuarkComplexity: 1.0 / 5

Here is yet another mint tin game, simply because they pack such a huge punch in such a small package. Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse by subQuark is another game that comes in a small form factor mint tin, is really quick to learn and a lot of fun to play. It easily fits into virtually any pocket and doesn’t take up much table space, so you can have it with you anywhere and play it everywhere. It is a realtime game, which means there are no turns and both players take their actions continuously in order to win. It creates a lot of frantic excitement and hilarity for players of virtually all ages.
In Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse you are trying to guide your team of five meeples to the fallout shelter, run back out to collect a supply parcel and return to the shelter and shut the lid before the mutant monster reaches you. The problem is that there are two teams of five meeples and there is only room for seven in the shelter. So you will have to fight for space and chuck your opponent’s meeples out to make room for yours. Luckily, in a weird kind of way, you can happily leave one of your meeples outside and still win the game with only four in the shelter. It sounds harsh, but we’re talking about a nuclear event here, so needs must.
The thing is the whole game is actually quite harsh. There is lots of player interaction. As soon as you chuck out your opponent’s meeple, they will do the same to yours. Yet, it doesn’t feel bad. I think it’s because the game expects you to be mean to your opponent, and there is never a situation where the other player can’t come back and still snatch the win away from you. So however mean you are, the outcome of the game is still not a given.
The whole game consists of players rolling two six sided dice, as quickly as they can. Whenever they roll a seven, they can take one action: make one of their meeples ready (all but one meeples start “unready” or lying down), move a ready (standing) meeple into the fallout shelter, send a pair of meeples to grab a supply parcel, recall the pair of meeples to the fallout shelter with the supply parcel, or chuck an opponent’s meeple out of the shelter. It sounds like a lot of options, but there is never a moment to think about what you want to do too hard, because the other player will continue to roll their dice as you sit there thinking about what to do. So you have to take follow your instinct and just go with it. In fact, the decisions are usually not difficult, so there is never time for analysis paralysis.
There are a few more rules, but overall they are really simple, yet create a really fun game experience. Of course, people who don’t like dice chucking games won’t like Mint Tin Mini Apocalypes, but I loved it. It still amazes me how much fun you can fit into a small mint tin. Games only last 5 or 10 minutes, so if you don’t like it, you can play something else. However, chances are that you just want to go again, and again, and again.
So give the game a go, if you get a chance. I reckon it will keep you amused for longer than you think. It’s of course the perfect game to have with you while you’re out and about. As you wait for food or travel on a train or plane, a game of Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse will keep you occupied for a long time.
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