Game Review: T.A.C.O.

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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A Great Game For People Who Love Tacos

# of players: 1-4
Time: 15-30
Age 6+ (Just Watch the Kids with the Mini-Tacos)
Game Type: Family Fun/Party
Gamer Type: Fun- Advanced
Complexity: 4 (Gateway)
In a world mired down by war games and euro games, people sometimes look for a game that can just be played for fun. These are the games you can pick up off the shelf and play with friends and family. T.A.C.O. is this type of game. As Ammon Anderson, the game’s designer stated, “I love tacos and wanted a fun game. The two just went together.” This is a fun little game that is great for all. It doesn’t matter if people have been playing for years or are new gamers. This is a game to have a good time with friends.

Story and Artwork

We start off the game with its story, which is you are building a taco. You want to have the best taco in the world. This means you will have to challenge your friends, and maybe even ruin their tacos. This is a simple story anyone can get behind because everyone wants to have the best taco. We are going to couple the story score with the artwork, which is amazing cartoon artwork. Each of the ingredients is a character, which is drawn into the artwork. The only thing that I would have liked to see here is some back story on the ingredients because the artwork is so well done they deserve to have a story. Thus, we give a score of 5 out of 10 for the story and 8 out of 10 for the amazing artwork.

Mechanics

The mechanics of the game are a draw and play game. This is a simple system everyone can understand it. Anyone who can read the cards can play the game. It would even work for younger children who aren’t yet able to read, but can follow directions to learn what the cards do! As you play cards, you collect mini-tacos. The round is over when the pile of mini-tacos runs out. You can play either one round or the best of three out of five. There are instant cards, which advance this game past the “collection” type of game, so we can award T.A.C.O. a 6 out of 10 for mechanics.

Strategy

T.A.C.O. has an interesting strategy level to it. Like most card games, it is locked into the randomization and the moves different cards you draw give you. This can be a challenge, but also a blessing. The challenge is the inherent difficulty playing when the actions are randomized. The benefit, however, is everyone is playing from the same deck. This means everyone has access to the same cards. The result is this game can have a simple strategy for new players while seasoned players can have an advanced strategy to collect the most of those delicious little tacos. Whether you are going to zerg rush the pile or wait until the endgame to spring your master plan, T.A.C.O. gives you both options. This earns it an excellent 8 out of 10 for strategy.

Novelty

So to start off, there are only three taco based games on the market, and I had never heard of the other two. This means that T.A.C.O. is within a very small genre of games. Add to that the interaction between cards is novel as there are only so many ways cards can interact. Each has enough diversity that the game has long term replay value. The artwork is fun, which really contributes to the game. This adds to the novelty of this game. For this we award T.A.C.O. a solid 6 out of 10.

T.A.C.O. Is Perfect For Any Skill Level

Overall, T.A.C.O. receives a score of 33, which is very good for a card based game. This is a fun one to have on your shelf for a quick game with your friends or while you wait for your gaming group to get together. That being said, this is also an excellent gateway game which will help people learn the basics of strategy for more advanced games. Having a teaching game that is fun on the shelf for your non-gamer friends to get them in on the fun is an added benefit. Overall, we give T.A.C.O. a good recommendation and hope you will check it out on Kickstarter or buy it in the store.

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Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer is a writer for NRN and an adjunct professor at both Penn State University and the University of South Florida. He is the author of several books, most recently “A Criminal History of the Democrat Party” which is available on Amazon and via the publisher, Elite Exclusivity. Follow on Twitter at @Acriminalhisto1

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