Tacos never really caught on as a fast food in Greece. I remember Mexican restaurants popping up here and there in the early 2000s, then most of them fading away as they couldn't compete with pizza and souvlaki, the staples of our local takeaway diet. Still, when I saw Crazy Taco on Kickstarter last year, a game about running a Mexican fast food restaurant, I pledged almost immediately. Everything about it screamed "fun!" to me: fun theme, fun colours, fun dice placement, fast, compact, solitaire fun!
And I wasn't disappointed. This was a small-time, indie project from a Spanish creator. I had chosen the "deluxe" edition that came with a playmat, acrylic tokens and sleeves. It is a small box game, perfect for carrying around if we are ever able to travel again. I'm a big fan of games that don't sprawl across the table, and this one takes as much space as something you might order at a fast food restaurant.
The playmat shows the counter on top, where customers come in one after another to order tacos and refreshments. You have to serve their food and collect the money to complete each customer card, and this happens by rolling and assigning custom dice. The dice represent the restaurant staff: one cashier, three employees, and one intern. Ideally, you will roll the dice and place e.g. one taco and one refreshment die on the customer card who ordered them, plus one money die to finish the order and send them away. Sometimes, you roll Zzzzs. This means the worker needs a break, and the die will 'disappear' in the break room for a few rounds.
Some customers aren't fussy; they just need a taco, they pay and leave. Families obviously need more food, and some arrivals coincide with the obligation to do a chore, like cleaning the floor, taking the garbage out or receiving a delivery. Everything requires the allocation of dice, and more often than not, there won't be enough available to cover what needs to be done. Eventually, all hell breaks loose. Customers lose their patience and leave. Chores aren't attended to and cause you money loss. And those workers in the break room are taking their sweet time...
Thankfully, luck of the roll isn't the most decisive factor, although of course it plays a role. The game gives you several ways of mitigating bad results, so a loss often comes down to bad decisions. It's not easy to win, especially when you happen to draw customers who bring in more customers, and the place becomes packed in no time. Every non-fulfilled customer will lower your reputation until it goes down to zero and you start throwing tacos at the staff in a fit of rage.
I'm not sure how easy it is to track down a copy, but I strongly recommend it as a solo filler. It is uplifting even when you lose, and has the right balance of luck and skill to keep you engaged for many plays. Winner winner, Crazy Taco dinner. ¡Viva México!