Avoca-GO! A Guacamole Review

by Corey Whelen
17 July 2019
2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy, Ages 6+
 

You’ve got the freshest veggies, the specialty spices, and a handful of recipes, but you also have hungry customers, desperate for an avocado-based dip. It’s time to prove yourself as the best (or at least, the most efficient) chef in town, because Guacamole brings a whole new meaning to fast food.

 


A smorgasbord of fun!

Guacamole is an incredibly simple game, but the difficult decisions and competitive nature can add a lot of complexity to your strategy. Every player has 5 ingredient cards in front of them with some combination of avocados, tomatoes, and chilies on them. In the middle of the table are three recipe cards, one mild, one medium, and one spicy. The first player to complete one of each of these recipes with their collected ingredient cards is the winner, so monitoring your opponent’s ingredients is as important as collecting your own.


Lots of ingredients makes for Spicy Guacamole- and a risky recipe. Be sure your opponents don't swipe it first!

Player’s turns are also exceptionally simple. One card from the ingredient deck is visible at all times, and on their turn, players can either take that card, replacing one of the five in front of them, or take a random card from the top of the deck. As soon as you have the exact ingredient quantities for the recipe you want, you yell “Guacamole!” (which is absolutely required and is the most fun part of this game) and grab your new recipe card! If you can grab a Mild, Medium, and Spicy recipe card, you are the winner!

It might sound simple, but there are a few snags for confident players. First, you need the exact ingredient amounts to grab a recipe card, so choosing which card to give up every turn can be excruciating. It becomes imperative to keep your options open; the primary strategy quickly becomes about getting close enough to the proper recipe that multiple cards will help you finish the job. Discarding a card every time you take one means you really have to consider which cards can come up, what’s left in the deck, what recipes your opponents are going for, and different permutations of the recipe- these decisions are really the heart of the game, and they really add a bit of kick to an already-spicy card game.

Additionally, some of the special ingredient cards can really mess with your strategy. The wonderfully thematic lime and cilantro cards will force you to swap cards with the player on your left and right respectively. The onion card really spices things up though, it forces all players to pass their entire hand to the player on their left. This card really messes up everyone’s plans; the groans of other players giving away nearly complete recipes will be music to your ears. It can be frustrating, but it adds a lot of fun and chaos to the game and it’s usually hilarious- for at least one player!

Overall, Guacamole fills a niche role on your game shelf. It’s small, short, incredibly chaotic, a lot of fun, and sure to be a hit with families that enjoy card games. It takes just seconds to learn, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation as you (and your opponents) get closer to your recipes, and the colourful art style is an instant eye-catcher. If you’re looking for an intro to game night, a quick picnic game, or something to entertain the kids for a few hours, Guacamole has the spice that’s the nicest!