Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Game Review

Slap it

Justin and his family take down the classic card dexterity game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza all the time. Find out why he loves the game so much!

Here’s how popular the card game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is—my wife’s parents had heard of it. These are people that don’t play games.

(Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is the second-most popular “dedicated card game” on Amazon. Higher than all the versions of UNO. Higher than Exploding Kittens. Higher than Cards Against Humanity. Higher than Monopoly Deal. Something called “It’s a Date: 40 Scratch-Off Dates” holds the #1 ranking as of January 2024, and I’m pretty sure that’s not even a game.)

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, for the uninitiated, is a fast-playing card dexterity game that accommodates 2-8 players. Designed by Dave Campbell and published by his Dolphin Hat Games label in 2018, the game has spurned other five-word “hand slappers” in this line including Taco Hat Cake Gift Pizza and a holiday version, Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman.

But the “OG” is all you really need. The rules are simple. The entire deck is dealt to the players face-down, with each card showing a picture and a word, usually one of the five items in that game’s title. On a turn, the active player—keeping one hand behind their back, just like all other players at the table, per my house rules—plays the top card of their personal draw pile into the middle of the table while saying a word in sequence, taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza. (In other words, if the last player played a card while saying “goat”, the active player will play a card and say “cheese.”)

If the played card’s word matches the word on the top card of the discard pile, all players have to place their hand on the entire discard pile, which usually includes a few other hands too. The last player to do that is penalized by taking all the cards in the discard pile. The first player to run out of cards wins the game.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (photo credit: Dolphin Hat Games)

Slap Yo Momma (uhh…maybe just her hand)

Like other hand slappers in my collection (most notably Paco’s Party, because it is the only other hand slapper that gets nearly as much play as Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza), Taco Cat is pure chaos and the games only take 5-7 minutes to play regardless of the player. That is because my oldest child is such an ace at the act of slapping cards fast.

Maybe it is their cat-like quickness. Maybe it is their ability to recognize when a card matches the current vocal sequence. Maybe it is the ability to not flinch, which always hoses my wife when she plays. A flinch is like slapping a pile last, meaning the flincher has to take the whole pile.

Taco Cat features some special cards, which we don’t always use when new players are at the table. These include the Gorilla card—players have to pound their chest then slap the pile—and the Narwhal card, which asks players to form a horn over their hand before slapping the pile.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (photo credit: Dolphin Hat Games)

But you are gonna spend a lot of time slapping things in Taco Cat, which is of course a blast. (If it’s not a blast, you were warned in the rules: “Game involves physical contact. Play at your own risk.”) I find that some players take the game too seriously—my oldest is guilty of this too—so a short game of Taco Cat might still mean a slightly sore hand when play wraps up. Like other Dolphin Hat games (Gimme That and 800 Pound Gorilla), you know what you are getting when you sit at the table, particularly if Gimme That leads to a player being nearly stabbed every time we play that game.

I love Taco Cat. We’ve played this game now with an incredibly wide audience, and with five million copies sold, it’s clear that my family isn’t the only one who has left the table with a big fat smile on their face. We have the holiday version of the game along with the original, but we stick with the base game, in part because we keep that near the front of our game closet.

If you like slapping things (in a safe environment) and getting a high-energy group of all ages together to play games that last less than 10 minutes, you can’t go wrong with Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. For less than $10, you can find a copy almost anywhere!

  • Perfect - Will play every chance I get.

About the author

Justin Bell

Love my family, love games, love food, love naps. If you're in Chicago, let's meet up and roll some dice!

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