As part of the preamble for the Borderlands 3 reveal, CEO and co-founder of Gearbox software Randy Pitchford decided to introduce the developer's new Borderlands-based tabletop game. The presentation included a mind-numbing live reading of half the game's manual, followed by Pitchford using the game's card deck to do a magic trick.
Pitchford brought an audience member on stage and asked them to pick a card, then guessed which Claptrap part the audience member pulled. To his credit, he performed the trick successfully, which was much more entertaining than watching someone read a tabletop manual out loud.
The game is called Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party, and features two well-known Borderlands characters, Tiny Tina and Claptrap. The game uses Tiny Tina's older design from the Borderlands 3 reveal trailer. It is co-published by Gearbox, XYZ Game Labs, and Nerdvana Games.
In Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party, players can build their own Claptrap out of a variety of parts and themes. The different Claptraps include Pirates, Wizards, Sheriffs, and Gentlemen, as well as the Claptrap we all know and love (or at least put up with). The first person to successfully build a Claptrap wins the game.
The game is for players 2 - 5 players age 13+, and each game takes about 15 minutes to complete. The basic game contains 80 cards and a set of rules. There's no word yet on whether there will be any expansions on the basic game with more characters or new ways to style Claptrap.
Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party is actually pretty similar to a couple of other robot-building tabletop games already published by XYZ Game Labs. For example, RobotLab is a children's game that requires 2 - 5 players to build robots by matching parts with different colors.
Maybe the new Borderlands card game is just a sneaky way of introducing more STEM education to gamers under the disguise of Claptrap's robotic snark?
Although not introduced until the Borderlands 3 unveiling, the game has been available for fans to purchase at PAX East since the beginning of Thursday. It's also available on the Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party official website and the Gearbox loot store for $20 USD.