695808_largerSometimes you'll pick up a puzzle game and burn yourself out rather quickly due to the overuse of tiring mechanics. Despite the fact that puzzle games often periodically introduce new concepts throughout their bite-sized levels, it's all too common to become bored of going through the same motions over and over before getting to something new. Amigo Pancho [Free / Free] goes through great lengths to keep you entertained throughout, even if the total package needs a bit more meat on its bones.

Amigo is a pretty straightforward game: at least, initially. All you have to do is guide Pancho -- who is floating on two balloons -- to the top of the screen. In short, it's a combination of a standard puzzle game with switches and platforms and the digging mechanic from Where's My Water? But Pancho doesn't just float up instantly, as you need to tap him before he ascends into the heavenly skies above. This offers up a few complications of its own, as you need to decide when the coast is clear, or protect him as he ascends.

At first you'll be going through the motions of figuring out basic digging puzzles, but then the game rapidly changes its pacing and gets a little more interesting. Concepts like dropping cardboard boxes on balloons, timed gates, wheels, and enemies pop up every other level. Some stages think a little more out of the box, forcing you to use multi-touch, decipher a code to unlock missiles, or work together with enemies. Amazingly, almost every level introduces a new concept -- the only problem is you barely get enough time to enjoy them.

Before you know it, you'll blaze through Pancho's 60 levels spread across three locations (Texas, Siberia, and Tibet) and be left wanting more. Personally, I powered through it on a plane in a little over an hour and couldn't put it down, so I hope the in-game promises of new locations arrive sooner than later. IAPs are in place, but they're inoffensive and unnecessary. Purchases range from gold currency for purely cosmetic items, to early level unlocks, to power-ups that instantly completes a level (which you don't need).

If you're itching for a new puzzle game to speed through that's entertaining throughout, Amigo Pancho is a safe bet. But if you crave something that's more substantial than what's currently on offer here, keep an eye on its update schedule, because this game has a lot of potential.

TouchArcade Rating

  • timborama

    Looks good. Sadly I won't be buying it due to the whole "coins" IAP thing. Non-starter for me.

    • cowtruck123

      They're only for buying costumes and levels skips... And you earn tons in each level. Its a great (but short) game.

    • toxiccheese

      Finished the whole game without a single IAP. Not needed. Ever. The game is also ridiculously simple.

  • Donny K76

    With all due respect meant to Mr. Carter, I purchased this game and breezed through the first 20 levels like he mentioned. However, 50,000 coins are needed to unlock each of the next two areas. After my first play through in Texas, I ended up with 15,000 coins. In order to achieve 35,000 additional coins to open up the next area, It would take ages unless you purchase coins through the App Store. (After beating a level the 2nd time, you only earn 50 coins.) Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • slamraman

      Just hit forward rather than menu when you complete Level 20 - i thought the same thing until Snooptalian kept me right on the forums.

      • Donny K76

        Thank you, very much appreciated and it works!


    • toxiccheese

      Finished the whole thing without a single IAP.

  • Johnny-K

    Great game! Yury, thank you very much!

Amigo Pancho Reviewed by Chris Carter on . Rating: 3.5