Quick Look: ¿Cuántos Tacos?
Designer: Rachel Mayne
Artist: Rachel Mayne
Publisher: Bonka Games
Year Published: Coming to Kickstarter
Players complete taco recipes by rolling the dice and matching the dice to the items on their cards. A turn consists of a single player rolling and rerolling the dice, with all players utilizing the dice results. Once all dice have been rolled and rerolled, all players use the ingredients shown on the dice by marking off the corresponding ingredients on their Taco Cards with the dry erase marker. Once a card is completed, players draw a new card from the top of the deck or from 3 face-up options. Some cards have bonus ingredients that count for bonus points at the end of the game. Cards vary in difficulty with the most difficult cards being worth the most points. After a predetermined set of rounds the game ends and players add up the points on the cards they have completed. The player with the most points wins.
Making Mexican food is one of the favorite past times of my family life.
From cultivating cheese to making fresh nixtamal for corn tortillas, I have pretty much tried everything short of digging a hole in my backyard for an authentic goat barbacoa, so when the opportunity for a family-oriented, taco-themed game showed up at my doorstep, I couldn’t pass it up.
After all (in the words of children’s author Daniel Salmieri), Dragons love tacos…
…and so does our family!
Now I must be up front in stating that as a card-themed game, I am never going to expect a level of complexity that rivals the heftier games in my collection–as a family-oriented game, ¿Cuántos Tacos? needs to be on the lighter side of the difficulty menu, and its level of success needs to be measured not by the scale of its depth, but rather its enjoyability by all present, and I will be so bold as to state right-off-the-bat that this game did not disappoint in my family.
Please note that for the purposes of this review, I have received a prototype, so bear in mind that some elements described are potentially subject to change.
First let’s talk about aesthetics and QC. The cards themselves are perfect in design and use, being sturdy and not flimsy at all. Moreover, they are all laminated to make for easy writing and erasure with a set of accompanying dry erase markers, which again, are not the cheap things one might find in a dollar store. They both write and erase easily, without gross smudges appearing everywhere, which is a glad bonus for us.
There are also 6 assorted dice in the colors of red, green, white, and yellow, each of which depict various ingredients for tacos.
The actual “art” depicted on the cards themselves at this point in time is relatively simple, as can be said for that on the dice. The creator of the game has assured me that this will be redesigned in the future to make it visually “pop” a bit more, so keep this in mind.
For gameplay, each player will start with two Taco cards and a Bonus Actions card. The object of the game is get the most points by completing as many Taco cards as you can.
Players take turns rolling dice, and as players do so, everyone at the table can start filling in the ingredients listed on their Taco Card. If a player rolls peppers, beans, flour tortillas and tomatoes, for example, all players would get to use their dry erase marker to fill in exactly one of those ingredients on their Taco card per die ingredient rolled.
There are also “Wild” sides to some dice that can be used to fill in any vacancies in your Taco cards.
If you manage to check off all the ingredients on your list, great! You can set aside that Taco card to calculate your total points later (some cards are more difficult to fill than others, but give more points).
From sour cream and jalapenos to sour cream and avocado, there are plenty of fixings to acquire during each and every turn.
You can then proceed to draw another card to complete once a Taco card is filled. The game is played over the course of 10 rounds, which are checked off on a round tracker card.
At the end of the game, the point values of any cards you failed to complete are deducted from the total point value of cards you completed, so there is a steep penalty for failing to complete an order!
For an added layer of complexity, each player has a Bonus Action card with 4 bonus actions that can be used to situationally help them. If you decide to use one of these actions, you cross out the action to denote that you have used it, and then apply the one-time effect of it.
For example, you can do rerolls, lock a die to prevent it from being rerolled, discard a Taco card in favor of another one, or even block another player from being able to use bonus actions. This can be situationally very advantageous, but perhaps it is better to consider NOT using your bonus actions, as each bonus action you do not use gives a bonus of 5 points at the end of the game…
As you can see, the game itself is pretty straightforward, but that does not mean it is unenjoyable at all. Rather, we found that everyone in the family could easily be a part of the action, from 5 years old on up. And the use of bonus cards can add some strategy that is not often found in card games
For card games, I primarily grew up with Uno, and while it had some great memories for family activities, the gameplay itself isn’t anything I have felt inclined worthy of teaching the kids at this point. But we have played other card games, and for foodie games, we usually end up playing Sushi Go (Expansion you didn’t know existed). However, this can sometimes be on the heavier side for younger children, so this doesn’t come out as often as we may like.
Given our unique addiction to tacos and the game’s ease of accessibility, I definitely see ¿Cuántos Tacos? becoming our mainstay card game for the foreseeable future, replacing all else that came before it. It is fun, fast, and scrumptuous all at the same time!
Be on the lookout for it soon!
Find out more at BGG.
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Jazz Paladin- Reviewer
Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.