Gearbox Software's upcoming shooter-looter and tabletop crossbreed Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is set to release on March 25, 2022. With that, it leaves a two week gap to fill before the next wave of mayhem occupies our consoles. The question is, with twelve days left on the clock and a number of games left to play before indulging in Tiny Tina's bittersweet fantasies of bullets and barbarity—which are actually worth playing?
As luck would have it, you won't need to play Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-Shot Adventure to understand Wonderlands, though it does serve as a continuation of some sort. And so, you can pretty much enter Gearbox's upcoming game without having to know every tiny detail beforehand. However, in order to get a feel for the genres it gravitates towards, you should look to give these five a go. That way, you'll dive into Wonderlands as a seasoned pro, complete with all the right tools to get the job done. You know, whatever job that is.
5. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-Shot Adventure
In spite of what we said in regards to Assault on Dragon Keep being somewhat unconnected to Wonderlands, it is still the best starting place for both newcomers and Gearbox veterans. After all, it was Assault on Dragon Keep that inspired Wonderlands long before it became a standalone video game in itself. So, think of it as distant relative of sorts. Bound by blood, but somewhat lacking in interest when it comes to acknowledging the other's existence.
Assault on Dragon Keep follows none other than Tiny Tina, the thirteen-year-old explosives expert with a twisted eye for destruction. As the self-proclaimed ‘Bunker Master' of the ‘Bunkers & Badasses” tabletop game, Tina looks to involve the legendary Vault Hunters for a game that only she can pull the strings to. As unfair and as outlandish as it may seem—it's all fun and games to the deranged teen.
4. Borderlands 2
Of course, without Borderlands 2 setting the scene for the beloved pyromaniac, we never would have had Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep—let alone Wonderlands. And so, on that note, we do have to pay tribute to the founding father of shooter-looters. Borderlands 2 was, and still very much is, considered to be the highlight of the series.
Granted, you'll miss out on a great deal of Dungeons and Dragons-inspired gameplay with this one, but your consolation prize lies with Tiny Tina herself, in the fact that she's a fantastic asset to the Borderlands 2 character roster. Although only a small pawn on the board, she stands out enough to inspire an entire franchise based off a few one-liners and one incredibly twisted motive. Plus, Borderlands 2 is just an insanely good game to play, be it for the first time or the fourteenth.
Again, with Bulletstorm you'll likely miss out on a whole lot of tabletop elements. But if you're wanting to fill that shooter-looter void before settling on Borderlands, then you should at least consider Bulletstorm, a manic first-person shooter that sheds rounds of ammunition faster than it spits hilarious off-the-cuff one-liners. Think DOOM, Serious Sam, and Borderlands 2 all wrapped into one—and you've got the basic premise.
So long as you're not looking to soak up a powerful story, then Bulletstorm should be enough to keep you satisfied. Providing you enjoy a good old fashioned bullet-riddled free-for-all with otherworldly creatures—then you're golden. All you need is a rough six or so hours to sludge through it and you'll be as good as prepped to take on Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. More or less.
2. Tales from the Borderlands
Gameplay-wise, Tales from the Borderlands couldn't be further from the style that Tiny Tina's Wonderlands employs. But with that said, both games do favor the storytelling aspect moreso than the typical shooter-looter format Borderlands is undeniably known for. And it's thanks to these two spin-offs, that we're given a deeper insight into the drama that revolves around Pandora.
Telltale has a knack for developing powerful narratives with compelling character arcs. Borderlands, being heavy on the brain-dead violence, shouldn't have worked for such a story-focused studio. And yet, it did. Somehow, Telltale meshed two worlds together to build a hybrid of two celebrated genres. Although without the presence of Tiny Tina, Tales from the Borderlands is still hands down one of the best adventures on Pandora.
1. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Gearbox definitely aimed high with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Similar to Saints Row, in the fact that both lost interest in sticking to a semi-regular style and just decided to throw caution to the wind, The Pre-Sequel just wanted to have fun with the system. Pandora was yesterday's news—and new worlds lay in wait. The rest, of course, was history in motion.
Again, you're not going to find your classic tabletop style here, but you will get a stronger feel for the standard Borderlands recipe. Mind-blowing cinematics, action-packed gameplay, and stupidly crude one-liners: three core ingredients for crafting a typical Gearbox title. It's the same with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel—and you can bet it will be the same with Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.