30 June 2022
Beneath the toxic burritos and tyrannous tacos is an enjoyable push-your-luck game
I imagine it can be difficult applying a theme to the abstract mechanical workings of a card game, but I’d have thought mutant, carnivorous Mexican food wouldn’t typically be the first thing springing to mind. Yet, here we are.
Tacopocalypse is a simple drafting game for three to six players set in a post-nuclear wasteland, rendered just about bearable thanks to the arrival of the last remaining taco truck. Despite everything on the menu appearing somewhat violently sentient, players will be hurriedly gathering up combo plates of either identical or unique dishes before scoring them based on their size. Finished plates range between two and six cards, with identical combo plates being the most valuable, albeit the most difficult to assemble. If ever a valid card cannot be assigned, that whole plate is discarded scoring nothing.
Each of the three rounds has players scanning their hand of ten cards, choosing one to simultaneously play, and then passing the remainder to the next player. Any time two or more matching cards are revealed a Condiment Grab ensues. This is Tacopocalypse’s most unique feature, introducing a literal, real-time grab for facedown cards that will either add points to plates or disrupt opponents.
There’s a fair amount of tactics to the drafting, as knowing what to take and when to stop building your plate is crucial. Consequently, players can resort to card-counting and probability assessing, all whilst keeping a beady eye on the plates of your opponents. With enough thought, players may even be able to occasionally line themselves up for a lightning-quick Condiment Grab.
Truthfully, the theme could’ve been anything. A cleaner aesthetic and essentially no theme may even have boosted Tacopocalypse’s appeal, as beneath the toxic burritos and tyrannous tacos is an enjoyable push-your-luck game and an ideal introduction to drafting mechanics.
PLAY IT? MAYBE
Designer: Mike Richie
Publisher: Redshift Games
Time: 20-30 minutes
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