Amigo Pancho is the tale of a man of adventure, a man who overcomes trials and adversity to rise to the loftiest of heights, all in the pursuit of living life the way it was meant to be lived. And he does it all with nothing more than a pair of balloons.
Oh, and your help, of course.
If you’re familiar with Disney’s Where’s My…? series, you should find yourself in good shape to help Pancho rise to the top of the world. But make no mistake: this is hardly a clone of those popular titles. Rather than clearing a path for water to reach our hero, your task is to clear his way of any obstacles so that he can safely (and with both balloons intact, preferably) make his way to the top of the screen.
As it turns out, there are indeed quite a number of challenges to overcome. Needle-spitting cacti, spikes, cannons, jet intakes that will suck you right in, sword-wielding matadors, and burly luchadores are just some of what lies in Pancho’s way. Using the touch screen, you’ll manipulate the environment in many ways, from dropping rocks to block the needles, to using fans to avoid the spikes; from using missiles to disable the cannons and jets, to using other hazards to deal with your pursuers. It’s quite involved, and very engaging every step of the way.
Though it is rather fun and engaging, those looking for a challenge may have to find it elsewhere. For the most part, the game is quite easy – we sailed through all of the available content (three areas in Texas, Siberia, and Tibet with 20 levels each) in about an hour to an hour and a half’s time.
There are a few levels that stand out as steep challenges, at least compared to the rest; only one had us use one of the “Super Pancho” free passes (which don’t show you how to complete the level), while another wound up being completed only once we basically said “screw it” and just haphazardly did whatever was needed to complete it. In fact, that particular level has you attempting to catapult two cacti bits into the balloons of two guys with swords, and our approach wound up taking out both in one shot. Okay then!
Amigo Pancho is a fun game and an easy recommendation, and it’s not difficult to see how it racked up 50 million plays over the two years it’s been online. Despite its relative ease, it still manages to hold your attention, and never really feels repetitive throughout its 60 levels. And with more content promised to be on the way, this one should have some longevity to it.