Tabletop Game Review: Tacocat Spelled Backwards is Tacocat
Whether you have board games that you circulate or have them in your teen area for teens to sit down and play, I’m here to share real tween and teen thoughts on board games that we play and share here. There are so many ways you can use table top games in your library. Today we’re talking on TacoCat Spelled Backwards. It’s by the makers of Throw Throw Burrito, which we previously reviewed here.
For the purpose of this review, I’m going to refer to this game as TacoCat, which is a palindrome. A palindrome spelled backwards is still the same word and it informs the structure of this game. Who wins each hand determines which direction the tacocat piece moves. The board is like a giant palindrome and the goal is to get the tacocat into your winning space.
The first thing you need to know about this game is that it is only a 2 player game. But it’s quick, so you could definitly use it with multiple players if you rotate new contestants in.
When you open TacoCat, it looks like this:
The box is the board. It’s kind of a board game/card game combo. You start in the middle of the board and you play each hand. The winner of the hand moves the tacocat piece towards their end. If it’s a tie you move the tacocat piece in the direction of the arrow. Your goal is to get the tacocat down into your winning zone.
The number on the space indicates how many cards will be in the hand. You will deal the cards and you start each round with a duel. You want to try and win the round so that you can set the tone for the next challenge. The highest card wins initial rounds, think War. The winner of the initial duel will then lay down a card and try and force their opponent to sacrifice their lowest cards.
Your ultimate goal is to try and hold on to the lowest card possible because the lowest card wins the final round. So there is strategy at play here.
So you do the first hand as a duel. Say Player 1(P1) lays down a 12 and Player 2 (P2) lays down a 2. P1 has won this duel and gets to lay down first the next round.
In the next rounds, you want to lay down your highest cards and try and force the other player to sacrifice their lowest card. If P1 lays down an 11 and P2 can’t beat that 11, then they have to sacrifice their lowest card. You are trying to maintain control of the game and get the other player to sacrifice all of their lowest cards.
In the last card, both players lay down and the lowest card wins. Up until this moment, the highest card wins. But at the end, the lowest card wins. You want to hold onto your lowest cards as much as possible.
If both players lay down, say a 6, then it’s a tie and you follow the direction of the arrow on the board. There are little tiles to place on each space as you play it. The game lasts anywhere from 4 to 8 hands.
This game is quick, easy and FUN! I highly recommend it. At regular price the game costs about $15.00. If you can, buy multiple copies of the game and host a bracket tournament. I think the quick play of it really makes it a great addition to libraries.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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