Play Time: 10-30 Mins / Players: 2-8 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ we think 5+ / Publisher: Dolphin Hat Games / Designer: Dave Campbell
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Ratings and Summary
Kids rating from our daughters (8 &11).
Teen rating from our son (14).
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is fast, fun, a little silly and plenty of laughs. It’s the sort of game you can throw on the table with just about any audience and have some light-hearted fun.
- Very simple to learn
- Appeals to a wide age range
- Plays quickly
- Generates a lot of laughs.
- No deep strategy here, this is about awareness and quick reflexes.
What You Will Find in Our Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Review
If you read our last edition of ‘At the Café’ you will know that one game we tried that day had us in stitches and laughing out loud. That game was Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza designed by Dave Campbell and published by Dolphin Hat Games. In short, this game takes snap, adds a series of weird words to recite and some hand actions to confuse you for good measure. The result is a fun and snappy card game that can inject a welcome dose of laughter with young and older players alike. Now that we have had the game for a while and played it a lot, we are ready to share our thoughts in this review.
How to Play Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
The objective is simple, be the first to get rid of all your cards to win the game.
For 2-5 players 12 cards are dealt to each player. For 6-8 players just deal out all the cards evenly. It’s super quick.
If you can play snap and recite some crazy words, then you will pick this game up quickly. This is essentially a word relay and matching game. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer each player will take turns placing a card face up into the centre and recite a word. The first word recited is ‘Taco’. The next player will place a card in the middle and recite ‘Cat’ and so on with ‘Goat’, ‘Cheese’ and ‘Pizza’ next, you get the picture right.
So, you will keep playing like this with the drone of ‘Taco…Cat…Goat…Cheese…Pizza’ ringing in your ears until one of the words spoken matches the card being placed in the middle. At that point each player slaps their hand on the pile of cards in the middle, the last person to slap their hands on the pile takes all the cards. The first person to slap their hand on the pile is likely to bear the brunt of all those slaps and come out with a slightly red hand. My advice is to make sure no one wears a ring when you play this game, slapping your hand on top of a sharpish gemstone of some sort is not particularly pleasant.
So far it sounds easy right? You’re probably thinking ‘So where’s the game buddy, this sounds a little boring and I really don’t like the idea of getting a sore hand.’ Not so fast, there are a few little twists designed to throw you off and disrupt things a bit and that’s what transforms this game from a rehash of snap to something fun.
The first thing you have to watch out for are three types of special action cards. If these show up, you must perform the relevant hand action and then slap your hand on to the pile of cards as quick as you can:
- The gorilla requires everyone to beat their chest and then race to place their hands on the centre pile
- The groundhog requires players to knock on the table before they slap the centre pile
- The narwhal requires players to slap their hands together over their heads to form a horn before they slap the card pile. This one is particularly amusing to watch.
It’s a hoot watching people rush to do the hand action, especially when someone messes up. For some reason the groundhog seems to throw us the most, it’s not uncommon for two of us to get it right, two of us to beat our chests confusing it for the gorilla action and have one person totally baffled like a deer caught in headlights. My youngest daughter is hilarious when she gets caught out, she usually just continues to do the incorrect hand action and slows it down almost like she hopes no one has noticed.
The trick to this game is staying on the ball and having quick reflexes, one of the ways the game tries to confuse you is that the same card could pop up in different colours. So, the goat for example may pop up with the same background colour as the groundhog did a few rounds ago. I can’t tell you how often I have started knocking on the table thinking a groundhog has been flipped when it was a goat. I then find half the family is laughing at me, and the other half is a little unsure as to what to do.
Which brings me to some other spanners thrown in the mix, these additional rules all serve to add more to think about and increase the mental load:
- There is no flinching by slapping incorrectly or moving your hand to slap and then pulling back. If you do, then you forfeit the round
- There is no peeking at your card before you place it. My kids sometimes try to lift the corner a bit towards them before they play their card, so we watch out for this one
- Finally, you must keep pace. You must maintain a steady pace, if you forget the word, say the wrong word or simply take too long then you forfeit the round.
Once you have no cards left in your pile there is one last thing you need to do to win. You need to make sure you slap your hand down first on the central pile when you see a match or special card.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Gameplay Experience
My oldest daughter played this game quite a bit at school before she introduced it to our family at our local board game café. We had so much fun with it my wife bought a copy a few days later.
The fact that it’s so simple and plays quickly means that it’s very accessible for younger players and the laughs make it worthwhile for the parents too. Much like Telestrations we keep coming back to this game for the laughs.
Although there isn’t a lot of strategy here, there are still enough spanners in the works to mean you have to stay on the ball. Reciting words, keeping pace, looking for matching cards and then getting thrown by special cards all keep things interesting. There must be some skill required here because my oldest daughter dominates this game, so much so that she sometimes sits out so that other members of our family can win a game.
While our daughters will happily play game after game of Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, my son, wife and I find about 3 or 4 games in a sitting is enough. Beyond that it gets a bit repetitive for us. The great thing is games are nice and snappy and we find they last no more than 10 to 20 minutes.
In the cute little magnetic latched box, you will get a deck of 64 cards and a small well laid out folded set of rules. That’s it. The cards themselves have held up well to a lot of plays without any noticeable wear. The artwork is simple and cartoony in style. Overall, not much in the box but for a game that you can pick up for around $20 NZD or $10 USD as at the time of writing its pretty good value we think.
Final Thoughts on Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
If you want something that play quickly, will appeal to a broad audience and generate a lot of laughs then Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is worth checking out. We really enjoy it for the laughs. While the older members of our family would prefer not to play more than 3 or 4 games in a sitting my daughters would have no issue playing this game over and over again.
Is Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza easy to learn? Yes, very simple to learn.
What will Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza teach my kids? This one is all about quick reflexes and keeping track of the words being recited while you keep an eye on the cards.
What age is appropriate for Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza? The box says 8+ but I think even 5-year-olds would not have too much trouble picking this game up.
Does Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza have good replay value? The adults in our family enjoy this game in small doses but the kids will play this one repeatedly any time.
We hope you enjoyed our Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza review. If you have any more questions or just want to share your thoughts on this game please leave a comment below, or get in touch through our contact page.
About the Authors
We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time.
As at the time of writing these are the variations available for Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, they are very similar, and the main difference relates to the special cards:
- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza on the Flip Side: The special cards in this game are different, they are now a Panda, Flapjack and Moose. The rules are largely the same in this edition except that the special cards require different hand actions, if you happen to see the backside of any of the special cards you must slap with the back of your hand on the centre pile of cards.
- Taco Hat Cake Gift Pizza: This version has the same gameplay as the original but a different set of words to recite and different special cards with associated actions. The special cards are now a Monkey, Unicorn and Ninja.
- Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman: This version has the same gameplay as the original but a different Christmas theme with a different set of words to recite and different special cards with associated actions. The special cards are now a Silent Night, Drums and Reindeer.
- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Halloween Edition: This version has the same gameplay as the original but a different set of special cards with associated actions. The special cards are meant to be the same animals from the original but with their Halloween costumes on. You now have a Boorilla (Gorilla), Hogula (Groundhog) and Arrr-whal (Narwhal).