🗺️ Based In United States
⏲️ 2-3 Hours ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 2 Teams
📚 The world FBI (Flour Bureau of Investigation) and CIA (Corn Intelligence Agency) must join forces to stop the Guaca-mole! Designed for two teams to tackle together or remotely with 2-3 hours of teamwork! (Taco TWOsday is a series of communication puzzles, designed for two people or teams to play. This (complete, full) product includes both the CIA and the FBI packets.)
Taco TWOsday | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
THE (QUICK) GUIDE
THIS, IN A NUTSHELL, IS...
▪ Classified As: Play At Home » Puzzle Game In A Box (Package)
▪ A taco-themed game night for two (teams) to savor. Quality time to bond, with none of the calories! With one team as the FBI (Flour Bureau of Investigation), and the other as the CIA (Corn Intelligence Agency), together they will prevent furry rodent-like villain the Guaca-Mole from stealing all of the world's supply of avocado chip dip. Through a series of communication cooperative puzzles spanning across various topics and formats (from word plays, to emojis, to movie reference), this lighthearted, humorous, and clever takeout order provides several hours of *chef's kiss* perfectly hearty entertainment.
YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF...
▪ If you like food with your games. Like, as in food themed, but who's to say you can't eat actual tacos while playing this?
▪ If you enjoyed the previous "Retro Rad Pizza Adventure". Similar theme, similar story, improved puzzles, all-around winner!
▪ If you like silly word plays, silly jokes, silly pop culture or movie references. A whole lot of silliness and tons of fun here.
▪ If co-op puzzle is your thing. Seriously though, if you can't communicate effectively... you'll gonna have a bad time.
▪ If you just crave some smart and well-designed puzzles, if nothing else. Every challenge is solid, satisfying, and hits the spot.
OVERALL VERDICT: 😍
▪ Advice: Based on everything discussed below, with my 2 teams of 1 each, the difficulty subjectively feels like a 5/10, (which may differ from the company's official rating). As such, I recommend 2 teams of 1 to 2 each. Personally, I feel the game is best experienced if all players are situated physically close by, though remote play remains a viable option.
▪ Tip: A few puzzles may not have the clearest directions to start. The first hint or two will usually clarify any confusion.
📖 CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW BELOW!
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THE (FULL) REVIEW
Taco TWOsday | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
INTRODUCTION & THEME
▪ "Taco TWOSday" is incredibly aptly named: it's the company's second puzzle product in their food-themed "takeout" line, and it's designed for play between two teams. This spiritual sequel featuring the Mexican cuisine staple retains an overflowing amount of food-related cuteness, and the targeted audience of two (teams) makes it a perfect date night activity.
▪ Game play involves a brief textual introduction, either from on-hand materials or on the accompanying game website, then players proceed to solve various challenges with props included in the package. Once solution is obtained, it can be verified via said website, and if correct, the game moves on to the next stage. Hints and nudges are also available on site.
▪ Like "Pizza Adventure", the story involves a supervillain's evil plan to steal all of the world's supply of one certain food--this time, the popular avocado-based deliciousness known as the guac--and it's up to you to thwart their agenda. While the basic narrative skeleton remains the same, this round, the execution is much more direct, text-based, and puzzle-driven, ridding the more media-dense video approach from the last game. The lighter technique yields strangely effective result; the overall experience is easier to understand and more time-efficient. This is one taco meal that won't leave you feeling bloated!
▪ Unlike "Pizza", however, "Taco TWOsday" is a communication cooperative game, so you can't dine solo. One team becomes the FBI (Flour Bureau of Investigation), the other, the CIA (Corn Intelligence Agency), each given their own exclusive intel files. The two sides then must communicate and piece together their halves of the clues to triumph. I am equally thrilled about the always-challenging co-op play and the geek-tastic, funny word choice. (No, I lied. I may be more excited about the verbal gags.)
▪ The villain, the Guaca-Mole, a subterranean furry critter with a penchant for green creamy dip? Adorable AND another clever word play! (And the word plays certainly won't end here! For those into punny humor, many good times await.)
▪ Components continue to be paper-based, and while not super fancy, I appreciate a deliberate and successful attempt to produce an impressive product with just paper contents. For instance, for the "Operation: Lettuce" portion, materials are printed on light green cardboards, while the analogous mission named after cheese are printed on yellow papers. The thoughtful color coordination stays consistent throughout, an appreciated feature that keeps the fun food theme explicitly active and immersive.
▪ Another huge advantage (some may even say improvement) compared to the last title is the welcoming lack of preparation needed. These tacos are ready to eat, right out of the package, y'all. There is absolutely no unpacking, unrolling of paper, or any sort of heavy crafting involved. Everything comes pre-assembled; maximal convenience, minimal hassles.
▪ Though the storyline is largely a fantasy (until one day an army of moles start stealing our avocados, that is), the investigation aspect is surprisingly logical and procedural, with main objectives realistically starting with a secret contact, moving onto locating the suspect, and finally raiding their secret compound. These coherent puzzle steps make good sense, therefore competently adhering together a journey much more engaging and immersive than I've initially expected.
▪ Overall, production value is humble but decent, though this really is beside the point since a substantial bulk of your enjoyment derives directly from the truthfully well-designed and well-produced puzzles. It's back to the basics with no BS: the puzzles speak for themselves, and they shouting loud and clear that they are the stars of the show.
Are you a CIA kinda folk, or will you join the FBI? | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
▪ One word: QUALITY! You can skip this entire section now. (Just kidding. Don't. I need my readership.) There is not one single weak puzzle introduced in this taco game night. And even more satisfyingly, I don't necessarily detect any classic or conventional puzzle types or ideas being blatantly recycled, which was one of the weaker aspects of the previous title. All in all, my partner and I both agree, this is one game you'll walk away feeling mentally aroused, exercised, and accomplished--and refreshingly so.
▪ Though already mentioned, it's worthy to note once more: WORD PLAYS! Trapped Puzzle Rooms has a tendency to be strike up humor with this literacy technique, and it's no exception here. In certain cases, the word play is so intense, that the witty answers can be simultaneously an in-joke and the puzzle for the next step. Say what?! Good times, good times.
▪ A brief sampling of tasks you'll face: spot the difference, paper strip jigsaw, and emoji deciphering. Abundant variety.
▪ Occasional Googl-ing (web search) is most likely required, or at least helpful, to complete the game. Experts of pop culture, movie reference, and international geography may ignore the previous statement.
▪ The estimated play time of 2 to 3 hours is dead-on accurate, assuming no cheating occurs. You'll most likely spend a good chunk of the time communicating. (Once you've established the basic setup, however, the "actual" puzzle solving process can be relatively speedy.) Designated break time will be suggested to prevent brain burnout. However, this game is so compellingly entertaining, you'll gladly power through. (This is one rare instance of food binging Escape Mattster will gleefully support.)
▪ Due to the communication puzzle nature, difficulty can drastically vary among players. The ability to effectively communicate is most important for all, novice, expert, or otherwise. Keep in mind: corresponding clues from each side may vary (in format) more than you think! So be as clear and as specific as you can when describing what you see to your crime-fighting partner(s).
▪ Alas, certain puzzles lack clear instructions to start, marking this one of the very few, if not the only, weaknesses found.
▪ If you've purchased the last takeout game, the decision to buy this follow-up product will be easy to make. The first takeout adventure is a pizza pie with mixed ingredients--some parts great, some parts less desirable. The new taco quest, however, maintains everything that works well from the first game, subtracts others that don't, and presents a final, refined dish of delicacy with all the strengths and none of the weaknesses. The game will feel familiar... but better. Every bite is a delectable delight.
▪ At $36 (plus shipping), the price tag skews towards the slightly higher end, though justifiable due to assembling-associated labor costs. You can reduce out-of-pocket spending by splitting across teammates. Additionally, by keeping all game materials pristine--unmarked or unwritten on--the entire game can be reassembled, thus retaining replay value for your family and friends.
OVERALL VERDICT: 😍
▪ The Trapped Takeout business is booming! Their first culinary creation is respectable though not without flaws, but the chefs in the kitchen have since honed their knives and improved their skills, and their sophomore effort is a Michelin-starred experience. No matter what day of the week, "Taco TWOsday" is the perfect yummy feast for any puzzle lover, (well-)seasoned or otherwise.
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. TPRTaco.