A couple of weeks ago, I was ambling about the Zatu stand at the UK Games Expo, looking for something to buy and play. I had already picked up Cartographers, something I was deeply excited about owning when I spotted something familiar but different. Regular readers might have seen my review for Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, a game I love because it's so silly and fun. Instead of the pink and green with the titular characters decorating the box, it was pink and blue, with a distinctive party feel. I picked it up, showed it to my girlfriend, and made my way to the till with a smile. The follow up game I'd bought was Taco Hat Cake Gift Pizza. (If you don't mind, I'll call it Taco Hat from here on in.)
Taco Hat is a very fast 2-8 player dexterity card game which relies on you paying attention and act fast. We had a couple of games and giggled just as much as we did when we first played the original. The box is always in plain sight so you know your cues and the slight variation with the special cards makes it more challenging (but not too much). Taco Hat is a game you can really turn your brain off and just enjoy the play.
How to Play
Shuffle, then deal the cards out between you into facedown decks. If there are less than 6 of you, everyone gets 12 cards. Then the first player, chosen by however method you want, flips over her first card whilst saying the word "Taco." The next player plays their card and says "Hat." Player 3 plays a card and says "Cake." Can you see where I'm going with this? Player 4 plays his card and says "Gift," and player 1 plays her card and says "Pizza." Then continue in this order, which each player saying the next word in the title. (If this seems familiar, it's exactly the same as Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, just different words!)
However, if the word said matches the card, every player lunges to slap their hand on the pile. The last person to do so must pick the pile up and then starts the play again. But here's the difference. If any card is one of the special cards, there is a special action that all players must do WHILST they slap their hand on the pile. These cards are Ninjas, Unicorns and Monkeys. If a ninja comes up, you make a karate chop with one hand whilst slapping the pile. Unicorns get you pointing from your forehead and slapping the pile and monkeys mean you have to scratch your head whilst getting your hand on the pile.
Once a player has emptied their pile, they keep saying the titular words as play passes by them. You only win the round when a match or special card occurs. As well as being the first one to slap down, so pay attention! Because if you're last, you pick up the pile and you're back in the game.
Final points for play!
- Make sure you don't flinch, or you'll be picking up the pile.
- Don't break the pace or forget what you're saying - if you do, pick up the pile!
- Don't peek at your cards! Guess what happens if you do? You win! No, not really, you pick up the pile. Cheaters never prosper! (In this game, anyway.)
Taco Hat is just as much fun as Taco Cat, though it does cause a slight issue if you play one a lot before playing the other. The number of times we would say "cat" instead of "hat" or do the wrong gesture for the special cards mean we kept smiling that rueful smile when you mess up. You don't need your brain to be keenly switched on, you just need to remember five words and three actions, which is a great feature when you sometimes just need to rest between games. I highly recommend you pick up Taco Hat Cake Gift Pizza. Even if it is a present for someone else, it's a great party game and it gives you an early stocking stuffer idea. But whatever you do, trim your nails and take off your rings. I have the scars to prove it…