Critical Play – Competitive Analysis of Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito a social dodgeball card game created by Brian Spence and published by Exploding Kittens. It is social, frantic and physical. Players must collect sets faster than their opponents by managing a limited number of cards on their hands. Every regular set is 1 point and every burrito set is 2 points. Players draw cards from the center or receive cards from their neighbor to the right. There are no turns – everyone goes at the same time. That’s why it’s confusing, frantic and fun. When burrito (battle) cards are played, a burrito battle starts. Players duck, dodge or throw a squishy burrito at each other to knock their opponent’s point off. The goal is to score the most points in a game of two.

The art is lighthearted, the colors are bright and the burrito is very squishy and cute. Cards are all graphical with very little text. While tehre is a very descriptive instruction sheet, the learning all comes from playing. The design and ethos fit perfectly with the theme of the game: fun and no harm! Throw Throw Burrito is different because it combines a social card game with a physical game. The fun comes from the socialization and adrenaline from 1) drawing, passing and collecting sets as fast as possible 2) participating in a dodgeball game 3) laughing at each other’s failure and confusion. It is extremely simulating for friends and strangers alike because it is social, easy to learn, low-stakes, adrenaline inducing.

My favorite mechanics are passing and playing dodgeball. Passing cards allow players to influence their opponents’ hand and strategy. It introduces more randomness and interaction between players. We are constantly on our toes as we manage the flood of cards coming from our opponents and creating sets. However, opponents can easily flood another player if they can response and pass cards faster. There have been many instances where my neighbor would just pile so many cards next to me that I would freeze. On the other hand, a slow player can really stall the game down by not passing cards to their left. One way to address this challenge to 1) cap the number of passed card pile or 2) introduce ability to change the direction of the pass. Playing dodgeball is a great way to 1) take a break from card game, 2) get even more competitive and 3)laugh at your friends, or yourself. Oftentimes, players can get tired from sitting for too long. Throw Throw Burrito has the opposition problem as the adrenaline from the card game can become draining. The dodgeball section allow most players to take a break and focus on the epic battle between 2 players. It’s almost like the intermission to a football game! Overall, I love Throw Throw Burrito because it’s adrenaline inducing and fast-paced.

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