Dale Yu: Essen Preview of Ta-Da!



  • Designer: Steve Avery
  • Publisher: Cool Mini or Not
  • Players: 2-6
  • Ages: 14+
  • Time: ~15 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by CMON


Ta-Da! is a game where players are wizards attending an annual talent show, and each of the players is trying to cast spells to impress their compatriots.  The spells themselves are represented on cards, and each of them take 4 or 5 dice results to be successfully cast.  Each player is given a dice cup and 6 custom dice in the player’s color.  Each of the dice have 2 arrows, 2 confetti explosions, 1 spiral and 1 broken wand face.


At the start of the game, players draw Spell Cards until they have two in their hand.  Next, one of the Feat cards is revealed – this adds a special rule that applies to all players for the entire round.  For instance, it might say that your elbows must touch the table at all times or that you must stand up and sit down before each roll of the dice.  In any event, all players then look at the two cards in their hand, and each secretly and simultaneously chooses  one to attempt this round.  When all players have chosen cards, the chosen spells are revealed and they are read aloud.  Additionally, if the spell has a special ability associated with it, that is also read aloud so that all players know what they might have to deal with.


Once all the reading (and laughing) is complete, it’s time to start the round.  All players load their dice into their cups, and then if the feat card requires some sort of physical rule, all players make sure that they comply with the feat… Then, on a signal, all players start rolling their dice.  Each time that the dice are rolled, a player is allowed to select a SINGLE die and lock it into place on the spell card.  Of course, the face on the die must match the face depicted on the spell card.  Afterwards, all the unchosen dice are put back into the cup and rolled again.  Once you have filled in all the required dice for a spell, you yell out “Ta-Da!”.  In a 4-5 player game, the first two players who are able to complete their card and yell “Ta-Da!” score a point.  These players keep the completed spell card in front of them to show this.


Additionally, if there is rule written on the scoring spell card – it is now applied.  These rules may allow you to steal a card from another player, or it may add an additional restriction on a player for the next turn.  All players who did not score this round simply discard their spell card.   If someone has cast 6 spells successfully – the game ends, and that player is the winner.  Otherwise, all players draw their Spell Card hands back up to 2 cards and another round begins.

My thoughts on the game

Ta-Da! is subtitled the “fast-paced game of dice and spells” – which is a mostly accurate description, though I think it would be better to add the word “wacky” or “whimsical” onto it…  Though there is a winner in this game, we’ve all had a lot of fun laughing while playing – so much so that I’m not sure people were really worrying about who was actually winning or not.

And, that might be a good thing – because this isn’t the sort of game that you can take too seriously.  Just roll the dice, have lots of fun, and be good natured about the turn where the Feat Card forces you to keep your elbows on the table, and you also get hit with two spell cards so that you have to pick up your dice one at a time as well as keeping your forehead on the table as well.

The names of the spells on the card are pretty funny, so we definitely make sure that we read them aloud.  Once the rolling starts, it’s just a furious scramble to roll the dice as quickly as you can.  As everyone playing the game is involved with their own rolling, everyone is just on their honor to lock dice appropriately, etc.

The effects on the spell cards can be targeted –and as I mentioned above, they can often be combined to hilarious effect.  Sure, it sucks to be the guy who gets hit by two at the same time – but you just gotta roll with it.  For a light filler or something to play with the kids, this fits the bill.  Short playing time, easy rules to learn/teach, and lots of laughs.

Thoughts from other Opinionated Gamers:

Karen: This is a speed game which I pretty much always get left in the dust on. But the play goes very quickly so it definitely does not overstay its welcome. A disappointment is that the spells are not all unique, a minor quibble to be sure. It would be a fun game for game night with gamers from beginners to experts.


Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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