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Lucha Amigos is Angry Birds meeting a cultural game of pool

George Tinari
George Tinari|@gtinari|January 16, 2015 8:30 AM
Lucha Amigos screenshot

What would you get if you crossed Angry Birds with a classic game of pool? There's no real answer, but if I had to place a bet, my money would be on something similar to Lucha Amigos. It's a Mexican-inspired game starring "Wrestlers Turtles" and evil cacti. These supernatural turtles crawl into their shells and ricochet toward the evil cacti to destroy them relying on your aim. The multiple stages make for a natural progression of both ability and difficulty, too. Lucha Amigos is available for iPhone and iPad for US$1.99 in the App Store.

Lucha Amigos is all about aim. It's essentially a puzzle game. The first few stages are easy enough to get a feel for how everything works, but eventually the real challenges kick in. Various walls and other objects separate the turtles from shooting directly at the evil cacti, so you have to strategize. You propel the turtles using one or multiple slingshots. You're given three turtles per round, so use them wisely. Try to also defeat the evil cacti while gliding through stars to collect all three. Yes, it sounds a lot like Angry Birds.

The similarities don't end there either. Some turtles even have special powers as well. Shortly into the game, you're introduced to the red turtle which, when tapped after already in motion, fires off in another direction to cover two bases. Colored turtles outside of green have their own unique abilities, up to seven of them.

Lucha Amigos screenshot

When you're playing, you have an aerial view of that stage. Dragging the slingshot back to prepare for release projects three lines forward which foreshadow which path the turtle will take when you remove your finger and fire away. This is the aspect of Lucha Amigos that reminds me of pool because the placement of the cacti are like cue balls and the slingshot is like your pool cue.

Compared to Angry Birds, I would say that this game is a bit more difficult as it requires more concentration. In Angry Birds it's pretty easy to get lucky if you're aim is inadequate because you might topple over one structure that ends up destroying the rest of the pigs easily. In Lucha Amigos, there's really nothing to help you except for the seven special powers various turtles possess.

I definitely recommend Lucha Amigos as a game to play if you're looking to temporarily take your mind off something. Since it's packaged up in short stages it won't take up too much of your time, plus it requires focus and strategy which sucks you right in pretty quickly.

It's also formed around a "comical plot" according to the developers, but it's not essential to the gameplay. The storyboard format and the graphics overall are pleasing to the eye though.

Lucha Amigos screenshot

For $1.99, Lucha Amigos isn't a great value. It'd be better off priced at $0.99 or even free with in-app purchases. Playing was just past the line of enticing for me, but I seriously mean it was barely over the line. It grabs your attention short-term, but I don't know that I'd be able to complete all 100 rounds without eventually getting bored.

Lucha Amigos is a universal game for iPhone and iPad in the App Store.
Lucha Amigos is Angry Birds meeting a cultural game of pool