My friends and I had an opportunity to playtest Throw Throw Burrito, a dodgeball card game from the creators of exploding kittens.
The best way to sum up this game is “Uno Meets Nerf Dodge Ball.”
Here’s a trailer that explains the gameplay for anyone who hasn’t heard about their explosive Kickstarter, which started with a $10,000 goal and is up to nearly $1.7 million at the time of this posting.
- Age 7+
- 2-6 Players
- 5 Minutes to Learn
- 15 minutes to Play
- Costs $35 (Kickstarter Exclusive Edition)
Burrito is an easy party game to pick up. Throw Throw
Since we tried it at a playtest, it was really fun to have an expert explain it to us. But it would have been just as fun to read the quick directions and play it on our own. Part of the humor is the awkwardness of trying to remember what’s supposed to happen when someone screams, “Brawl!”, “War!” or “Duel!”
- The game is family-friendly.*
(*See Cons before you decide.) It’s fun enough for adults but easy enough to learn for kids. There are no adult-themed cards like something like Cards Against Humanity or the NSFW Exploding Kittens deck.
- It’s a perfect game for old AND new friends.
Our party of 4 was paired with a random team of 2 and it wasn’t awkward at all to play with them. It would be a fantastic icebreaker at a party and it’s easy to substitute people in/out.
- You might get some exercise?
Obviously, folks who actually go to the gym and run 4K runs while doing goat yoga are going to roll their eyes at this level of “exercise.” But if you’re looking for a way to get your lumpy bodies away from Netflix for a half-hour, this is a great reason.
- It’s a good game to get a little closer to your crush.
If you and your crush get picked for a duel, you’ll get to stand butt-to-butt* before you take three paces and hurl burritos at each other. I know, I know, I look at love like Tina Belcher. Try this super-smooth line after: “Hey, I had fun hurling burritos at you tonight! Want to go out after this and hurl some real burritos? Into our BELLIES?” (*Don’t be creepy about it, though.)
- It’s Fast.
It doesn’t take much to set the game up (it’s just a bunch of cards, a few tokens, and 2 toy burritos.) When you start out, you don’t even need to be exact about the card count. They suggest giving everyone a deck of about 15, and you’ll pick the top 5 off of your pile to begin. You’ll probably only have 2-5 rounds per game, which takes about 15 minutes to play.
- It’s Super Cute.
The design of the characters are on-model for anyone who is a fan of The Oatmeal or Throwing Kittens.
- You need a wide-open space.
The campaign says that you can sit or stand, but I think chairs would just get in the way. Seriously, this is not a game to play near grandma’s ashes or extra-rectangular glass tables. This would be a perfect game to play on a table outside or in a bigger room. Before you begin, make sure that you don’t have tripping hazards – loose carpets, extension cords, your newborn baby, etc.
- You probably shouldn’t eat/drink during the game.
I had a thing of tater tots off on a table 10 feet from the action and they were nearly sacrificed to the burrito gods. For sure, anything spilly near the action will probably get spilled (right onto your cellphone.)
- It might be annoying to bystanders.
This seems like one of those games that will become super popular at cons, which is great if you’re playing along but not so great if you’re trying to silently read the latest Walking Dead Erotic Fan Fic or whatever.
We were lucky enough to have Two Bit Circus as our host, which is a huge arcade/gaming space in Los Angeles. But we were on a
second floorbalcony, so many a-burrito went through the wide open railings and wackedinnocent bystanders in the head. The burritos don’t hurt, so one got mad. But! It’s possible that people will get angry at you if your burrito lands in their fancy craft brew. I’ve found that the best way to deescalate an oops like this is to invite the person who you burrito’edto join in the game. Then they’ll become part of the problem, mwhahaha!
- It’s not for babies.
It can get real rowdy real fast. A lot of people expect family-friendly games to be suitable for their **entire* family. But only you know if your kid is developed enough to run around a room without injuring themselves and mature enough to not have a meltdown if s/he gets hit by a burrito.
This also goes for adults. All of us have a friend who gets way too aggressive at games and focuses on “winning” by pelting people, screaming when s/he doesn’t win, etc. This is not for that baby person.
Goodrule of thumb: If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.
- Your pets might hate it.
Again, since there will be a bit of running around and noise, your dog might get upset. And you’ll probably trip over your cat. And spill your fish.
- It’s a tiny bit pricey. But there’s a reason for that.
I heard a lot of folks balk at the price, so it’s important to address it. It’s a lot more expensive to produce & distribute indie games vs. the ones you would buy at mass market retailers. If you’re still concerned, you can always DIY with a deck of playing cards or Uno, some bottle caps, and two squishy balls. It won’t be exactly the same zany fun, but you can at least test out the gameplay dynamic before committing.
Final Assessment: Buy Or Don’t Buy?
Buy! If you’d like to be an early adopter and support the creators, Back the Kickstarter by March 28
If you’d rather save money, you can wait a while and cross your fingers that a mass retailer picks it up or buy it used on E-bay. Backers for Exploding Kittens paid around $20 for the initial Kickstarter for the standard deck and I’ve seen it on sale for as low as $12 online.
Personally, I have experienced so much free joy from The Oatmeal webcomic that I am delighted to support the creators in any way, so it feels like getting a game out of it is a bonus.
Have fun! (and don’t die.)