Tiny Tina is great fun, although she doesn’t live up to much hope



We still admire the nice scenery in the snowy valley we ended up in as a lisping voice speaks to us from the side, asking for help. The voice belongs to a little creature, quite ugly, to be honest, but apparently nice to us.

The friendly goblin introduces himself as Jar and demands the support of her resistance group. This is called “the goblins oppose the punishment of tyranny” or KOTZ for short. Oh yeah, there it is, classic Borderlands humor.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands doesn’t have the series name in the title, but it’s still a Borderlands game, albeit with a few tweaks. We played it and we will tell in our preview if it is worth visiting Wonderland.

Here’s what we played: In the demo, we were able to freely explore a small area of ​​Wonderland and perform several tasks, loot, fight and search for collectibles there. We had two pre-made characters to choose from, namely Tombborn and Killomancer.

The other four playable classes were not part of the demo. We were unable to try out some of the finished game’s features, such as extensive character creation, main quest, and class selection. Besides, we could not explore the so-called overworld or having fun in co-op mode.

Borderlands with a touch of pen and paper

The concept of Wonderlands is pretty simple: the developers are based on an idea from Borderlands 2’s most popular expansion pack, Tiny Tina’s Attack on the Dragon Keep.

The DLC allows you to move to a fantastic world in which the events were repeatedly commented on by Tiny Tina and other Borderlands characters. Since the heroes actually only played one round of Bunkers and Badasses, the Borderlands Dungeons & Dragons variant – with Tiny Tina as the dungeon master.

This meta-level has always been conducive to funny situations, such as when the game world was adapting to the characters’ conversations. In addition, famous characters also had their appearance as fantastic versions of themselves.

This is exactly the idea Gearbox wants to bring to life with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, albeit extended to a separate game. Now there are two brand new characters at the game table, namely the robot Frette and Captain Valentine. The two occasionally chat with Tiny Tina about the game, which was quite fun in the demo, but so far hasn’t created the iconic moments seen in the Borderlands 2 DLC.

He returns to the fantasy world, but this time it is supposed to be bigger and more varied.  In the demo, however, we could only explore the snowy valley.






He returns to the fantasy world, but this time it is supposed to be bigger and more varied. In the demo, however, we could only explore the snowy valley.

The developers obviously want to expand the pen, paper and tabletop elements a bit: because in addition to the freely explored sections of the maps known from Borderlands games, there is a higher world that we move around as characters resembling wobbly dolls. However, we haven’t been able to try this part of the game in the demo version yet.

The fate of the goblins

The map that we could explore in the demo is an optional area that doesn’t seem to be relevant to the main quest. There is a separate questline for this, which deals with the history of the goblins living here. We will help the Goblin Jar defeat the evil dragon god Vorcanar, who has enslaved the goblins.

Goblin Jar is a brave fighter from the KOTZ resistance group.






Goblin Jar is a brave fighter from the KOTZ resistance group.

In addition, we could play two side quests that told their own stories. We especially enjoyed the search for ancient and terrible weapons. Here, the client asks us at least once to refrain from violence, which we almost did.

Eventually, we can then decide to attack or seduce the Weapons Ranger – or just let him finish speaking. After a very long monologue, the alleged boss simply falls asleep and we steal our weapons without violence.

Even after the demo, we don't know anything more about Tina Tina's Wonderlands main story than the trailer reveals






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Even after the demo, we don’t know anything more about Tina Tina’s Wonderlands main story than the trailer reveals

Fantasia a la Tiny Tina

The world of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is characterized by a successful blend of Borderlands and classic fantasy. This is well illustrated by weapons and equipment. We still use all kinds of weapons that are similar to their Borderlands 3 counterparts.

However, they have been enriched with design elements that suit the world of Wonderland. So now we have firearms that look like crossbows and shoot bolts. Other guns are now powered by seemingly magical crystals.

bed! – Melee weapons

One of the first innovations we notice when we first open our inventory is a melee weapon. Previously, our characters in the Borderlands games were able to strike but could not choose their own weapons to do so. Now we collect not only rifles and pistols, but also swords, axes and hammers, which we then distribute.

As in Borderlands, some weapon properties depend on their manufacturer.  New brands have also appeared here, such as Bonk for melee weapons.

As in Borderlands, some weapon properties depend on the manufacturer of the weapon. New brands have also appeared here, such as Bonk for melee weapons.

Melee weapons have values ​​and special abilities, much like the Borderlands firearms: For example, we deal elemental damage or heal ourselves when we strike. This is an interesting add-on that offers even more options for melee classes like Brr Zerker.

However, the developers could go further here: because we still use our melee attacks by pressing a button, and we can’t hold our sticks in our hands instead of weapons. Unfortunately, hand-to-hand combat is still not as fluid and intuitive as shooting.

Magic fireworks

We were much more excited about the new magic while playing Wonderlands. They replace the grenades from other Borderlands titles and are really well done. As befits a loot shooter, you can find many different spells that also play completely differently.

For example, we can fire a single lightning from our hand, rain fire on our opponents, or absorb their life force. There are also defensive options that can help us and our teammates survive.

Our spells sometimes cause spectacular explosions and are also a lot of fun.






Our spells sometimes cause spectacular explosions and are also a lot of fun.

For example, we can conjure up a protective aura that hurts attacking opponents. Or we set up a shield dome that protects us from fire and creates little dragon-like creatures that attack enemies. Of course, we cannot use this powerful weapon constantly. After casting a spell, we must wait a few seconds before we can use it again.

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