Published on May 31st, 2014 | by Colin0
Cardcore Gamer: Mexican Throwdown
As a general rule, dice games are underwhelming. Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice slams that notion through a table full of tacos!
Just before Christmas, me and my wife were looking for a cheap, fast and fun game that could be played with one hand, while our as-yet unborn son would be occupying the other. Naturally, dice games were the best solution, but that brought up a bit of a problem: many dice games are turds, riding a turbid sewage-slick of mediocrity before sinking mercifully without trace.
See, dice are lovely, deceptive little things with their pleasingly chunky tumbling, able to make us believe we can cheat fate when we ‘roll well’ and that it’s not our fault when we don’t. Dice games, however, often forget this and hold a pretence of sincere depth and strategy; grand, tottering designs on inherently fickle, random foundations. The better dice games know what they are and Luchador! is one of the best. Packed into this little box – with room to spare – is all the loud, colourful, tense hilarity of Mexican wrestling. Larger-than-life characters, special moves, the twatting of people with chairs, it is all there and it is FUN.
While great as a two-player duel, Luchador! shines even brighter as a 4-player tag-team game and due to its brevity, playing entire tournaments is easy. Everyone plays at the same level, there’s no real technique, nor strategy to learn because that’s really not the point – and if you’re not a fan of random filler, then this probably won’t convince you – it’s about the atmosphere the game generates and for something so simple, it exudes a surprising amount.
What shines through is the feeling that the designer made the game exactly as it needed to be; the rules are easy to grasp and teach, the turns are hectic, simultaneous and easily resolved and most importantly, the game proceeds steadily toward an end point. Luchador! is a five-minute filler that you can be certain will not outstay its welcome, you get a blast of dice-chucking, table slapping, high-fiving (no really, it’s in the rules) action which ends in shouts of victory and threats of retribution.
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is currently one of my most played games and is a fantastic warm-up, icebreaker, filler and dispute settler. Don your mask, speak horribly mangled Mexicanglish and deliver your foes a chair-assisted nap! Viva Luchador!
Edit 01/06/2014: Luchador! 2nd Edition is well on its way to being funded and has just won Best Family Game at the UK Games Expo!