Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands has everything a gamer wants


Pregame play loading screen, featuring Sporewarden multi-classed with Spellshot (Photo by Kyle Scheck).

Kyle Scheck, Staff Writer

by Kyle Scheck

Staff Writer


You see a massive skeleton army assaulting the city, the sky is filled with arrows… And boulders… and bones! Evil is all around you” -Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands via @playwonderlands on Instagram.

After a little over a year, Gearbox Software and 2K’s work-from-home quarantine project Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was released on March 25th, 2022. But before learning about the game, one needs to first understand the background of the title. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (TTW) is a spinoff of DLC (downloadable content) Assault on Dragonkeep from previous title Borderlands 2, based on the popular roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons.

To properly review this game, one must consider elements, such as characters/skill trees, story, combat, end game content, and loot.

Characters and skill trees

The Borderlands franchise follows the simple looter-shooter archetype that also incorporates role play elements, featuring unique playable characters and progressive skill trees.  However TTW challenges the posed stereotype of the Borderlands franchise by removing characters as a whole and instead incorporating a class-based system akin to Dungeons and Dragons. However, the six new classes each feature one passive ability as well as an entirely unique skill tree. When players start a game, they pick a class from six options: Brr-Zerker, Clawbringer, Graveborn, Spellshot, Spore Warden, and Stabbomancer. Not long after, main questline players can pick a secondary class, referred to as multiclassing. Thankfully, all the classes remain playable in later levels and endgame content. Replacing the character aspect of Borderlands, TTW adds fully customizable character creation as well as personality modification. Overall, TTW’s characters and skill trees are flawless.


The story of TTW follows Tiny Tina (voiced by Ashley Burch) in the role of the Bunker Master, who struggles with her abandonment issues via forcing stranded smugglers Frette (voiced by Wanda Sykes), Valentine (voiced by Andy Samberg), and the player character (referred to as “Newbie”). To indulge in her Bunkers and Badasses campaign. While in the campaign, the party encounters the story’s big-bad known as the Dragon Lord (voiced by Will Arnett), who seems to develop his own consciousness. As previously mentioned, the story tackles Tina’s issues regarding her parents death as well as the death of Borderlands 1 character Roland, who acted as her primary role model. Following this idea, the story delivers a powerful window into the mind of a child who projects her displaced emotions, through a lens of imagination, onto those around her.


In succession to the combat engine of Borderlands 3, TTW maintains features, such as sliding and mantling. But in addition to those features, TTW adjusts previous item slots to dramatically enhance combat in the sandbox. One of these two major improvements is the replacement of a basic melee weapon with a unique loot drop, akin to the gun drop system. These new weapons come in a range of types, from spears and glaives to swords and scythes, and can drop in any rarity. Another improvement is the  spells, otherwise known as the grenade mod of TTW. Spells come in any rarity and come in many types, such as summoning spells that conjure hydras companions to spawn and attack enemies. Or maybe you’d prefer invoking the wraith of a huge fireball. Generally, the combat in TTW is fluid and easy to master.

Endgame content

Upon completing the TTW campaign, the player character gains access to an area called the Chaos Chamber. Within the Chaos Chamber lies a randomized encounter based survival mode that incorporates rooms from locations throughout the game. A major new feature includes a new currency called crystals, which are exclusively dropped inside the game mode. These crystals are used to buy buffs that spawn randomly in rooms, to make encounters hard as well as increase the number of crystals that drop on enemy kills, and enter a lottery-based system at the end of the game mode that can drop items of any rarity dependent on the numbers of crystals spent. Other minor features include traps sprinkled in rooms, randomized mini-bosses taken from side quests inside of the game, and rune chests that sometimes spawn in a room.

At the end of a Chaos Chamber play through are major bosses taken directly from the story. Additionally, there are four unique raid bosses (secret and unique bosses with added difficulty to challenge players) located within the Chaos Chamber. These bosses are activated by finding runes after finishing an encounter. Runes are found by the audio queue of laughter that plays when a player enters its vicinity, and after interacting with a rune, the player must complete a small puzzle to successfully trigger the raid boss. Naturally, these raid bosses are completely optional, even after successfully activating a rune. Following in the footsteps of Borderlands 2’s Digistruct Peak DLC that introduced OP levels, for those unfamiliar; OP levels create an upper level of enemies that reward the player by dropping weapons with increased stats based on the player’s OP level.  In contrast to OP levels, the Chaos Chamber offers Chaos levels, which are accessible by completing Chaos runs. Chaos runs apply the modifier of the next Chaos level to the player.


Now, the bread and butter of a looter shooter game, the loot! TTW has tons of new and unique legendaria’s, along with some returning weapons such as the sword-splosion, a legendary shotgun that shoots exploding swords. That aside, Gearbox has added multiple new gear slots like the spell and melee slots, but in addition Gearbox gives the player amulets and two ring slots. Amulets and rings replace relics from the Borderlands series, but the trade off for new slots incorporate more variety in abilities. For example, some rings apply a static buff, have a clause stating “the effect will be multiplied one hundred times if ammo reserves drop below fifty percent” and so on. Beyond new loot types Gearbox has added new weapon types, a few in particular include a automatic crossbow, guns that get thrown to be reloaded, and guns that can shoot forever but heat up like a car engine. Generally, the loot and weapons of TTW is balanced and all around fun for everyone.

To sum it up, TTW is a beautiful game that encompasses everything it means to be a looter-shooter.

From a heart-wrenching story to a replayable gaming quest for peace and vengeance, TTW has it all and does it all amazingly. Being the latest entry in the Borderlands series, albeit a spinoff, I rate Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands a 10/10.