Yes, you read that title right – Taco Bell has a game based around their food, but unfortunately, it’s not near as ridiculous as the concept would lead you to believe. Simple to learn and quick to play, the Taco Bell Party Pack Card Game features a fun concept that just wasn’t as fleshed out as it could have been, but can be fun, especially for larger groups.
Let’s start with the good; Taco Bell Party Pack Card Game, released by Ravensburger, perfectly captures the aesthetic of a Taco Bell take-home box and will instantly capture the attention of anybody who sees it. Inside is a deck of 112 meal cards, a deck of 50 crew cards, and 18 crave chips. The cards feature lively, hand-drawn artwork and give the game a lighthearted feel while the crave chips – triangle-shaped chips that look like Taco Bell’s nachos and award additional points – help the game feel unique and are made of solid material that won’t be easily damaged.
The game supports 2 to 6 players, but as a party game, it works better the more players you have participating. Each player draws 10 meal cards and randomly picks 3 crave chips. The crave chips are all gathered in a pile, laid face down as to hide their point value, and will be pulled from by all players. 6 crew cards are then placed in the middle of the table and playing commences.
The player who ate Taco Bell last goes first, or the youngest player. Meal cards feature either a menu item – such as a quesadilla, cinnamon twists, burrito, taco, crunchwrap, or a drink – a sauce packet, or an action card. One action card can be played per round and grants special bonuses to the player, such as allowing you to choose a menu item and each player having to give you their card for that item if they have it in their possession or allowing you to draw extra meal cards to improve your current hand. Sauce packets give you an advantage, such as allowing you to feed two crew members in one turn or to turn any meal items in your possession into your meal item of choice.
During each turn, a player can either discard any cards they are not happy with and pick new cards to refill their hand or attempt to feed a crew member. The crew member cards specify the actions required to satisfy their hunger and have a point value assigned to them. What is needed to satisfy a crew member’s hunger varies and can range from providing the crew member with two different menu items to six matching menu items. Satisfying that crew member’s hunger allows the player to take that crew card and add that number of points to their total. Adding an additional layer to the proceedings is cravings, which each crew member has. Aside from what they need to satisfy their basic hunger, most crew members are craving a specific item, listed in the bottom right of their card. By satisfying that crew member’s hunger and providing them their specific craving item as well, you are allowed to grab one craving chip from the pool, which grants additional end game points. Once all craving chips have been won, the game is over, and players tally their scores. The player with the highest score – based on the crew member cards they acquired and their craving chips – wins.
Each game only lasts around 20 minutes, and while it can be fun, especially if players receive a good mixture of meal cards, action cards, and sauce cards in each hand – it is all sort of anticlimactic. There is a little bit of strategy involved, as simply feeding the easiest crew members isn’t necessarily the best idea and often saving up your cards to feed a higher point crew member and satisfy their craving will be worth the extra effort come time to add up your points. Smaller groups of 2 or three will most likely fly through this game quickly, but larger groups of six highly competitive players may find ways to spruce up the gameplay and keep each other on their toes. Unfortunately, no matter how you play, the game will be over quite quickly.
Taco Bell Party Pack Card Game
The Taco Bell Party Pack Card Game would make a fun diversion at a party but is not something most players will find themselves gravitating to on a regular game night. While I did enjoy my playthroughs and greatly appreciated the overall aesthetics of the packaging and design, I had hoped for a game that was a bit sillier and more chaotic, considering the premise.