Welcome to Cartagena, Colombia! The colonial houses in this historical town are a testimony to its colorful past. You, on the other hand, are more interested in old shipwrecks — more specifically, sunken Spanish galleons filled with gold. Time to embark on an old-fashioned underwater treasure hunt. What you didn't anticipate is that several of you have discovered the legends of these buried riches. To make matters worse, a barracuda is prowling through the shipwrecks.
The challenge in Barrakuda is to be the first player to have eight gold pieces in their vault, but before you can lock away gold in your vault, you need to find it on shipwrecks or steal it from others.
To set up the game, lay out shipwreck cards numbered 1-6 in some orthogonal arrangement, and give each player movement cards numbered 1-5, along with a barracuda card. On a turn, each player chooses a card from their hand, then they reveal them simultaneously. If you played a movement card, move your pawn to that shipwreck card; if you're the only player there (and the barracuda isn't), take both the special action and general action listed on the card. If more than one player is on the same shipwreck card, then whoever has the fewest movement cards in front of them has the initiative and can either take the special action or take all the gold from one player's bag; after this, all players take this card's general action.
If you're the only one who played a barracuda card, roll the distance die, then move it up to that many spaces in the direction of your choice. If a barracuda is on the same space as a player, they have to drop their gold on that shipwreck space; others can pick up that gold starting next turn. If none or more than one player play barracuda, roll the direction and distance card to determine where it goes.
Actions on cards let you pick up gold, move gold from your bag to your vault, protect you from the barracuda, take back movement cards, move the barracuda, and so on.
In First Take Fridays we offer hot takes on games that are new to us. This week we have Barrakuda, Tucano, Speakeasy Blues, Planet Unknown, and 1001 Islands.