Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice

Game Overview: In Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice, you take on the role of one of the nine Luchador wrestlers included in the game.  You battle your opponent in the ring as you roll multiple dice and use different abilities that the specific wrestler may have.  The goal is to reduce your opponent to zero strength points to knock them out of the match or winning by pinning your opponent.  Will the dice role be in your favor as you go for the famed Luchador Wrestling title belt?

Box Contents: The box has a nice compartment to hold the oversized player cards and the dice.  In addition, the game board really stands out with a wresting ring that you actually build that includes ropes in which the dice are rolled in.  You also have card board characters along with a plastic stand.  The strange thing is that there are 9 wrestlers but only 8 plastic bases.  I thought my box may have been missing one plastic stand.  However, the game contents do show that there is one less stand than characters.

Clarity of Rules: The rules are in a 23 colored manual that is very well done.  It covers all of the wrestling moves that you would expect and how to resolve them with the dice.  There is a normal rule set and then an additional 5 pages of advance play where you can really kick up the game intensity.

Game Play:  Once the players have picked out their wrestler, they take the four wrestling dice assigned to them along with a single hit and pin die.  An additional Luchador! die is set to the side until it comes into play.  Players are also given a score card that allows the player to track the strength of their wrestler throughout the game by using a wooden token.  The wrestling match begins with both wrestlers rolling their dice into the ring at the same time.  Any dice that are knocked out of the ring during the roll, are not used and are set aside until the next round.  Players then compare their dice results.  The dice have five possible results:  Miss, Hit, Block (twice on each die), counter, and pin.  If you roll miss on any of your dice, they are removed from the ring and will not be scored this round.  If a hit is rolled, your opponent will take one point of damage on their score card unless they can match up a hit or counter dice.  Rolling a block provides no score to either player, if matched up against a hit.  A counter roll matched up against a hit gives the person with that counter roll, one hit to their opponent.  The pin result comes into play only if your opponent is pinnable.  This is based upon your score card.  In a two player game, you start with 21 strength points.  If you drop to 14 or less, your opponent can attempt to pin you.  If you roll the pin result and are not able to pin your opponent or if you choose not to, you may reroll that result one time.  For each hit you scored against your opponent, you roll the hit dice which has a symbol for each type.  These include:  Back Hand Chop (1 point), Forearm Smash (1 point), Drop Kick (1 point), Choke Hold (2 points), Chair Smash (2 points), and Table Slam (3 points).  If you roll two or more hit dice that score a hit, you can exchange those out to roll the Luchador Die that may potentially provide a higher number of damage points to your opponent.  In the basic game all wresters will provide the same result with this die roll.  It will either be fail, Level 1 success (4 points), Level 2 success (5 points) or Level 3 success (7 points), or injury to your own wrestler which causes you to be stunned.  Each character card does describe the move they performed for each of the levels, even though they provide the same level of damage. When stunned, the next round you lose the ability to roll a single die and are left with three instead of the normal four.  When attempting to pin your opponent, you roll the pin die.  You will either get no pin, pin succeeds, your opponent is stunned, or Viva Luchador where you decide to showoff and don't even attempt to pin them but your strength does increase by one.  If you are successful with a pin attempt, your opponent must roll out the three count.  They roll their dice and if they are able to roll three total block our counter results over three rolls, they have kicked out of the pin attempt.  If they fail, the game is over and they are pinned.  One fun aspect of being pinned, if you roll three of the same (block or counter) on your first roll, you reverse the pin and your opponent must now determine if they are pinned. Once players have mastered the basic rules, they can easily step up to the advanced rules.  Here, characters now have unique strengths and weaknesses along with a killer dice roll combination that can be triggered.

Replay Ability: With nine wrestlers and the unpredictability of the dice rolls, you will never have the same match twice, even if using the same wrestlers.  In addition to the one v one matches, you can play tag team matches adding to the replay ability.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 8+ which should fit this game perfectly since it's just a matter of learning the results of the dice rolls and comparing them to the opponents.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: We really love the unique game board of having the wrestling ring and having to keep your dice in play but not rolling them outside of the ring.  The quick play is also great because we can get multiple matches in, especially when we are following the rules where you can't challenge the champion until you have won three in a row or five total matches.  There really wasn't anything that we could come up with that we didn't like concerning the game play itself.  However, if you are not a fan of rolling dice, this may not be the game for you.  At certain times, you can set dice aside.  Beyond that there is very little strategy involved.  

Add-ons/Other Releases:  Nothing official from BackSplindle.  However, someone has created multiple WWE wrestlers that can be printed out and used in the game.  The link can be found here.

  **A review copy was provided to us.