Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Review

Richard Walker

It's been nine years since we assaulted Dragon Keep, in Borderlands 2's last major expansion, and now Tiny Tina is back for more, with a fresh game of 'Bunkers & Badasses'. A Borderlands spin-off, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands feels entirely like a new entry in the series, with a few little twists of its own, like the ability to wield spells and clout enemies with melee weapons. There are some decent tongue-in-cheek nods to fantasy tropes, too, in a story imbued with typically daft Borderlands humour. There's a sense of fun and chaos here that's infectious, and the looter-shooter action is as moreish as it's ever been.

Of course Butt Stallion is back.

Starting you off as one of six different classes, each boasting their own abilities, perks, and buffs, Wonderlands sees you playing as a custom character for the first time, Borderlands’ Vault Hunters sidelined for an unpainted figurine referred to as the 'Newbie'. As said Newbie, your destiny is to become the fabled Fatemaker, which means vanquishing the evil Dragon Lord, voiced with gusto by Arrested Development and Murderville actor Will Arnett. Your choice of class falls into the usual fantasy-RPG archetypes, the 'Stabbomancer' fulfilling the rogue role, while the Brr-Zerker lays at the other end of the spectrum, as an axe-wielding barbarian sporting frosty elemental powers.

The Graveborn class, meanwhile, wields dark magic and has a floating skull companion that provides support (a bit like a floating drone at your side); and the Spore Warden specialises in toxic attacks and archery, bringing along an adorable little Mushroom buddy. The Spellshot class is Wonderlands' powerful mage, and the Clawbringer is a formidable warrior class, boasting a handy fire-breathing Wyvern companion. Upon reaching a certain point in the campaign, you're presented with a secondary class, enabling you to mix things up and expand your repertoire. There's no shortage of depth available in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, although anyone who's played Borderlands 3 will recognise a lot of the mechanics and options on offer.

Nevertheless, Wonderlands sets itself apart with a tabletop board game Overworld to explore from an isometric perspective (your hero transformed into a diminutive figure with an oversized head), peppered with discarded drawing pins, erasers, cheesy snacks, soda cans, and bottle caps that can be shoved over to form makeshift bridges and ramps, unlocking shortcuts. Wonderlands really leans in to the fact that you're a playing piece in a fantasy board game, fellow players Valentine (voiced by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg) and robot Frette (played by Curb Your Enthusiasm regular Wanda Sykes) chiming in frequently as Tina (Ashly Burch) changes up the game and its story on-the-fly. Tina's random digressions worked well in Assault on Dragon Keep, and they work similarly nicely here, keeping things relatively unpredictable and precarious throughout.

While trekking across the Overworld, you'll come across random encounters - which can be slapped away with a melee attack – encampments to clear out, and dungeons harbouring hidden shrine pieces, complete sets of which can be exchanged for a permanent buff. Twenty-sided lucky dice boost your loot luck stat upon being collected, and, as you'd expect, there's a wealth of side quests to tackle within each region and the Overworld itself. Some of the game's silliest references are reserved for Wonderlands' side quests, like 'The Ditcher', in which you have to come to the aid of monster slayer, Gerritt of Trivia, while he regales you with anecdotes about “copulating on a unicorn”. Sounds familiar.

Fatemakers, unite!

Predictably, there's a glut of weaponry to hoover up across Wonderlands' realm, which, in keeping with the fantasy setting, now encompasses pistols that fire crossbow bolts and oversized swords, battle axes, hammers, and enchanted frying pans. Spell tomes arm your character with elemental magic to hurl at foes, shields are referred to as 'wards', and rings and amulets can be worn to provide further buffs – it's all very recognisably Borderlands, then, everything given a fantasy slant, replete with goblins, wyverns, skeletons, zombies, brigands, assassins, poisonous mushroom folk, land-dwelling sharks called dogfish, and snake-like creatures known as coiled. And like any Borderlands game worth its salt, bosses come in all shapes and sizes, enemies attack in abundance, and loot is strewn across the ground in glowing piles.

Should you thirst for more of Borderlands' brand of anarchic silliness and relentless shooting and looting, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands won't leave you feeling shortchanged. Though repetitive in spots – especially during the self-contained combat encounter sequences – there's an energy and brio to developer Gearbox Software's game that's difficult to resist, and enough to distinguish from the mainline series from whence it sprang. Technical snafus with the game's Shift login (required for cross-play) that cause the game to momentarily freeze on console notwithstanding, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is an enjoyable take on the Borderlands formula, though superficially more of the same. If it's raw fun you seek, weary traveller, then a trip to the Wonderlands might just be one worth taking.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

Should you be in the market for more of Borderlands' frenetic looter-shooter mania, then Tiny Tina's Wonderlands fits the bill, its uniquely daft take on fantasy tropes and tabletop board games proving robust and infectiously good fun.

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Some lovely ditties and exuberant voice work from a game cast. Explosions and spells fizz, crackle, and pop – it's good.


Borderlands' signature style is back in full effect, looking as good as it did in Borderlands 3. The side is let down by some performance issues that cause the game to intermittently lock up, usually when it's trying to log in to Gearbox's Shift service.


A mite repetitive at times, Wonderlands still manages to deliver enjoyable shooting and looting, this time with some D&D-inspired elements, like spells and swords. If you enjoyed Borderlands shoot and loot gameplay loop, then you're undoubtedly going to enjoy it again here.


A ten-chapter campaign and dozens of side quests prove a generous offering, while the endgame Chaos Chamber has endless shenanigans to tackle solo or with friends in co-op. A pretty generous and well-presented package that's hard to sniff at, despite being essentially more of the same.


An entirely serviceable list that covers the usual levelling up and completion milestones. There are one or two objectives here that transcend the grind, but Wonderlands' list is primarily about putting in the hours.

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