Reviewed by Freya Knudsen
Exploding Kittens has been a staple family Christmas game for several years now, so when their new release TACOCAT Spelled Backwards game came to me for review I was excited to give it a try.
Described as a ‘lil’ board game with a cat who is also a taco’, I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of gameplay. However, I like cats and tacos so that was a good start!
Unboxing the game, I noticed their trademark designs, if you’ve played their other games you know they have cheeky humour and bold artwork. This was certainly no different! The box itself is sturdy, and doubles as your board for the game. It is also compact making it an ideal candidate for a travel companion.
What really appealed is that whilst there is an instruction book it states straight away in large print don’t read the rules! Thankfully, they also provide a URL to a handy online tutorial. It is a really easy to follow step-by-step that takes less than 8 minutes to watch and by that point we were ready to play. The aim of the game is to duel by playing cards of a matching or higher value to defend your hand, otherwise sacrificing your lowest card. You want to be left with the lowest value card to win, to move Tacocat closer to your side. One thing to note, there’s further strategic moves explained in the booklet called ‘Jumbo Attacks’.
The game involves both strategy and a certain amount of luck. Whilst it was easy to pick up how to play, the instruction book was nice to have as a reference point for the rest of the game.
As a 2-player game, this made a perfect date night activity to get out of the normal monotony of lockdown life, usually involving a lot of TV and snacks. This game still involved us consuming copious amounts of snacks but was a nice distraction from our usual routine. We played 3 rounds, the game estimates the duration of a single game as 15 minutes and whilst we didn’t time it this seems pretty accurate. It gets very tense and competitive, especially as the board gets smaller as the game progresses with small tiles to blank out spaces.
Tacocat Spelled Backwards is recommended for ages 7+ and whilst we played as 2 adults, I imagine it could be equally as enjoyable for kids too.
Overall, this would make a great gift for yourself or for others looking to ease lockdown boredom, and in post-covid life its small enough to be a perfect travel game. The company really thinks of everything making the game appealing to both children and adults alike through their engaging tone of voice, fun game and beautiful design. The animated online tutorial makes learning simple with both players able to watch at the same time without the reader having to explain to the companion how to play, (who likes to read instruction booklets anyway).
This product can be purchased from Exploding Kittens here.