IT’S TACO TUESDAY! Nothing beats taco night! Any way you do it: fish, beef, chicken, pork, vegetarian, hard shell, soft tortilla, at home, out to eat. Hey did that taco just grab my fork? What’s going on, I haven’t drank that many margaritas yet! Oh no the tacos are attacking! Grab some friends and defend yourselves as Taco Tuesday becomes a ¡Taco Fight!
What Is ¡Taco Fight!?
¡Taco Fight! is a real time cooperative card game for 2 to 4 players. Play is fast and furious as you work with your friends to block, eat, and punch your way through 6 waves of attacking tacos who are outraged at the carnage you inflict on Taco-kind every Tuesday. Each round is only 30 seconds, with 30 seconds to a few minutes of set up between rounds. An average game should take less than 10 minutes to play. Good communication, memory, and fast reflexes are key in ¡Taco Fight!. Kickstarter backing levels start at $24 before shipping.
¡Taco Fight! Components
• 1 Taco Board
• 1 Sand Timer (30 second)
• 4 Plate Boards
• 24 Mild Taco Cards
• 32 Medium Taco Cards
• 40 Hot Taco Cards
• 160 Ingredient Cards
I played with an early prototype copy that had minimal artwork but what currently exists is cartoony anthropomorphic tacos wielding cutlery. My favorite is the medium Taco Cards: the spear with a lime slice on the end and the sour cream hair really made me smile for some reason. (The Kickstarter page has significantly more fleshed out art work that all looks great.) All the prototype components were of good quality.
My only real complaint is the sand timer. Sand timers are generally fine, but due to the frenzied pace of the game, the timer always wound up off to the side and we missed the end frequently. We ended up using a kitchen timer or phone timer, and it worked just fine. The game’s website (http://www.Tacofightgame.com) has a number of video timers that will work well but were not available while I was reviewing the game. These timers range from a How to Play Training Mode to the insane fifteen-second-round Madness Mode.
The Ingredient Cards have the ¡Taco Fight! logo on a black background, and the following ingredients on the fronts: Tortilla Spiciness 0, Vegetables (Lettuces in final artwork) Spiciness 1, Meat Spiciness 2, Fork Spiciness 3, and Onions Spiciness 4. All but the fork have a one fist icon at the top. Yes, the fork is an ingredient. It is a little weird, but it sets up an interesting push-your-luck situation in the game.
The Taco Cards represent the attacking tacos. The backs of the Taco Cards indicate the spiciness level 1-8 and if they are a special dish like Chips and Salsa, Fajita, or Burrito. (The special dishes can only be defeated one of the three ways.) The fronts of the Taco Cards are the high level ingredients Guacamole Spiciness 5, Cheese Spiciness 6, and Hot Sauce Spiciness 7, each with the two fist icon.
The Taco Board is for tracking the round of the game you are in and a convenient place to keep the three Taco Decks. The four Plate Boards are where all the action happens. Each player gets one, and this is where you build your defending tacos to block, punch, and eat your way to a glorious taco-filled victory!
How to Play ¡Taco Fight!
Rule book can be found here.
To start, each player is given a Plate Board, the 4 decks are shuffled and placed in their respective locations, Taco Decks on the Taco Board with the timer and Ingredient Deck next to the box (which is the kitchen sink) in the middle of the table. It is a good idea to make sure all players can reach each other’s Plate Boards before beginning. The appropriate number of mild tacos are dealt to each player based on the chosen difficulty (1 for normal, 2 for hard, and 3 for madness). Each player may take as many Ingredient Cards as they wish from the deck, be sure everyone gets some! The timer is started, and the first of 6 rounds has begun!
The Fight Phase
In the fight phase you flip the Ingredient Cards you have over two at a time. With these cards you build defensive tacos to block the attacking tacos, help your friends to eat tacos, and punch tacos. Of each pair of flipped cards the top card has to be played first. To block a taco you need to build up a taco that has a spiciness equal to or greater than the attacking taco. Ingredients must be played sequentially (Tortilla 0, Vegetables/Lettuces 1, Meat 2, Fork 3, Onions 4, Guacamole 5, Cheese 6, and Hot Sauce 7), onto a plate on any player’s Plate Board.
To eat a taco, a Fork Ingredient Card must be used to tap a Taco Card in front of another player until they pick it up and put it on their deck of ingredients. The dirty fork is then thrown into the kitchen sink (box lid) and is out of play. This sets up a tradeoff. Eating tacos is easier than building blocking tacos or punching, but the number of forks is limited and running out of them is a sure way to lose. Finally Taco Cards can be punched by playing a number of fist icons equal to the taco’s spiciness on top of the taco card. If you fail to defeat a special Taco Card (Chips and Salsa, Fajita, and Burrito), you lose the game. The specials each only have one weakness: the Chips and Salsa Mild Taco Cards must be eaten, the Fajita Medium Taco Cards must be blocked, and the mighty Burrito cards must be punched. After 30 seconds of blocking, eating, and punching, it’s time to move to the Prep Phase.
The Prep Phase
In the Prep Phase you verify that all tacos cards were defeated. These tacos go into your Ingredient Deck as well as any cards used to punch tacos in front of you. You may shuffle or add cards to your Ingredient Deck (this can be done in the fight phase as well but you’re kind of busy then). If there are undefeated Taco Cards you check to see if you have lost the game.
You lose if:
- If a Special Taco Card is undefeated (Chips and Salsa, Fajita, or Burrito)
- If any one player has three undefeated Taco Cards in front of them
- If all players are holding two Taco Cards
- If there are any undefeated Taco Cards after the final round
- If any player is holding a Taco Card(s) after the final round
If there are undefeated regular tacos you must hold them during the next fight phase, and are unable to use the hand(s) holding the tacos. (Try to group lose conditions together.) You may only hold one taco in each hand. What do you do with a taco in your hand? You eat it! Another player must tap your taco-filled hand in the next Fight Phase with a Fork Card to free you up. You are allowed to play one-handed, but if you are holding two tacos you’re stuck until someone helps you out. Tacos for the next round are dealt and you repeat the Fight Phase until you play two rounds of each level of spiciness for a total of six rounds.
Why You Should Play ¡Taco Fight!
¡Taco Fight! is some serious food-flinging fun. The game is listed for ages 8+ (unless you play with the NSFW cards that are a higher backer level, which are labeled as ages 25+). I played with my seven-year-old on a 45-second round and he did really well, but he does play a fair number of games that he’s technically “too young for.” The first few games the learning curve can feel steep, but this passes quickly. After you get to know the Ingredient Cards, things start to flow.
I really enjoy cooperative games, but they often have two downfalls: the player who tries to take over, and losing after a long game. ¡Taco Fight! handles the master player issue in that it is too fast for anyone to take over, and the order of the cards as you flip them is unknown. There is nothing wrong with losing, but after a long game where you just miss winning, I usually don’t want to play again. This is where for me ¡Taco Fight! shines. Its fast game play makes playing several games possible.
Many games for us came down to the final round, and we averaged winning about one game of every three. The game has been rebalanced a bit so the average in the production version should be better. I played this with two, three, and four players. All three setups worked really well. My wife and I really appreciate games that work well as truly two or more players.
The game is fairly small, which makes it great for travel. The game can be played without the five boards if you’re very tight on luggage space. ¡Taco Fight! would make a fast filler game at a game night, or with the right group it could be a game night all on its own. If you want to be really meta, ¡Taco Fight! could be part of a food themed game night! (Don’t be stingy with the snacks at that one!) ¡Taco Fight! is fast, fun, inexpensive, and, is great to play multiple times.
Visit the ¡Taco Fight! Kickstarter page for more information!
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Disclosure: GeekDad was loaned a prototype of this game for review purposes.