It’s a shame that card game Lucha Jefe is packaged so minimally, because inside that very unassuming exterior, a clever little game is hiding.

Lucha Jefe is a somewhat abstract game comprising of just 8 cards – along with a reference card for each player, five championship belt tokens and, of course, the rules.

The theme is Mexican Luchador Wrestling; players are managers, looking to draft a wrestler to fight, one as back up on the sidelines and retire any they feel should be removed from contention altogether.

In practice, this means that players take turns drafting one card to their hand and one to remove from the game (keeping it face down so the opponent doesn’t know who’s gone). When players have two wrestlers in their hand, they choose one to fight and one to have on the sidelines – then they reveal them both simultaneously with their opponent.

Though in theory the highest numbered card wins the match, each card has a special ability that may sway the match in their favour. The winner of a match takes a championship belt; the first to three belts wins the game.

It’s a really fast paced and somewhat unpredictable game that can feel a little chaotic. It’s fun though – and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

The art on the cards is really nice; beautifully stylised art of each wrestler, with every one having a distinct look that’s full of character.

There’s a bit of an issue with the bag the game is packaged in, however – it’s a little tight to get cards in and out of; when sleeved, it’s not just hard: it’s near impossible to get the cards in there.

It’s an incredibly cheap game though – and it’s one that’s very easy to learn, teach and play. The theme is nice, the overall design – on the cards themselves at least, once you get past the nondescript packaging – is really well done and it’s got a very appealing theme too.

So if you do happen to find Lucha Jefe in the wild, I’d highly recommend checking it out for yourself.

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