There are two kinds of people in this world; you’re either a Harry or a Jack. The fact that one met Meg Ryan and the other got lost on a tropical island with polar bears has nothing to do with it. We’re talking about temperament, personality and the ability to actually enjoy life. One sits indignant, frowning like a top-shelf growler while the other struts down the open lane, throat burning from barking at the moon. The two entered the ring of Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice to attempt to wrangle a greater degree of self-realization and affirmation.
Harry – Former Caylus Box Cover Model
When the 3D ring for Luchador hit the table Harry let out a quiet sigh of dissent. Taking up the handful of brightly colored dice, he took careful aim to lightly shuffle them from his palm to the center of the ring in an attempt to refrain from the risk of them plummeting off the edge of the mat rendering his results void. As he took care to analyze his collection of Hits, Blocks and Counters he studied his Luchador’s special abilities and pondered whether he should preserve the necessary dice to start building towards his Killer Combination special maneuver.
Playing it safe like a kid wearing a helmet to his nap, Harry let the hits stand and shoved the large Lucha die off to the side. High risk/high reward is the game of penny stocks and arraigned marriages, not bare knuckle European farming. Rolling the green dice and then looking up the Hit values on his player aid to determine how much damage he inflicted on his confused and over-zealous opponent was frustrating. Trying to fathom why a designer would include a symbol of a head lock or table slam as opposed to the raw elegance of the simple numeric value of damage is more perplexing than the rudimentary arithmetic required in Luchador.
Life and hardships continued as Harry’s tag-team partner repeatedly hassled him for not physically touching his greasy hands when tagging out. The fact that this was completely unnecessary and had no bearing on actual gameplay seemed to escape the majority of the table only furthering the sense of bewilderment invading his nostrils. He would sit quietly the rest of the match, just mumbling incoherently to himself as he contemplated the merits of mindless dice games in a world with ample cardboard opportunity for mental challenge and stimulation.
Jack – Roller Of Bones And Takers Of Heads
When Jack’s eyes met that over-the-top attractive wrestling ring he couldn’t restrain himself from picking up the mounds of dice and gleefully throwing them into the ring with measured velocity in an attempt to knock his foe’s from the platform and cancel their effect. Each cast of the tombstones was like a game of craps with blood and honor on the line instead of mounds of dough.
When Jack generates two or more hits he rolls the Lucha die. Risking life and limb, the chance to score big with the Rain Of Fire or a Dog Fight Dive was too much to turn down. Go big or go home is a perfectly distilled narrative quip to express the Luchador! lifestyle. As he pulls off his massive seven damage slam he feigns elbow dropping the table and nearly causes Harry’s diet Coke to spill into his lap, eliciting a hiss that one could almost confuse for imitating his Luchador persona, La Cobra Vuelo.
In the blink of an eye Jack has forced his opponent’s Strength into the red line and goes for the pin. As Harry’s unfortunate partner Tom rolls his wrestling dice attempting to break out, Jack screams at the top of his lungs making sure his elderly neighbor down the block can hear the Pin count through his brick walls. 1!…2!…3!
Narrowly avoiding stepping on the mangy cat skulking nearby, Jack leaps atop the arm of the couch flashing his biceps as he brandishes the cardboard tag-team champion belt, slapping his partner with a high five loud enough to starve the stoutest of Agricola meeples. Repeatedly shouting U-S-A! the two stomp across the room only momentarily breaking up their celebration to hurtle ill-spoken insults and narrowly witty putt-downs towards their less than impressed opponents.
I took my inner Harry out to the woodshed, put a bullet in his head and lit his carcass on fire sometime in the late 80’s. If you’re an able-bodied gamer similarly full of heart and passion then you either already own Luchador! or you’re slamming your head against the wall in an act of self-degradation for missing out. Luchador! is mindless fun carrying the torch of King of Tokyo and allowing it to grow ever so brighter. While the game contains a touch of additional depth compared to its most prolific peer, it still firmly resides in that position of requiring the players to bring 90% of the fun. The game does its job of serving moments of drama but puts the onus on the players to act out the guttural flamboyance of professional wrestling like their life depended on it.
With a heavy reliance on social fever, it works best with a crowd as the swell joins in on the pin count and players viciously slap their partner’s hands to tag in. Oohs and Aahs come as frequently as the slamming of dice and the collective cringe of bracing for damage alights the room abuzz like a fire sparking simultaneously through the minds of the participants. With the right group, Luchador! is raucous and fun and will turn up your blood pressure like the corners of your mouth as you grin ear to ear. When it comes to chucking dice and barking trash, Luchador! puts its opposition through a table and into the raw concrete like an enraged Sabu in his prime.