Developer: Longtail Studios

Price: $4.99

Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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Let’s start off by saying that I’m as far from a wrestling fan as it gets. I’ve never followed it and likely never will. Thankfully, TNA wrestling doesn’t take that approach. Longtail Studios has successfully churned out a wrestling game that’s both light hearted and easy to pick up. Any fan of dynamic story telling is sure to find a soft spot for TNA.

The game is quite simple to get into and utterly difficult to put down. You’re first faced with the task of customizing your wrestler. From the hair-do to the shape of your bulging muscles, playing God never gets old when crafting your pompous effigy. After the lengthy tutorial, the gameplay begins. Each match starts off with a smack-talking session with your opponent. You can take the light-hearted, amiable approach or unleash a verbal assault on your competitor. You craft each scene by picking from a list of pre-written dialogue choices, each as hilarious as the next. Once you our your assailant gets frustrated enough, the brawl begins.

Wrestling is done by selecting various moves of both offense and defense. In a true chess game fashion, there are a handful of strategies you can use on your rival. Doing three or four various moves in a certain order causes your wrestler to do a special maneuver. Once you’ve induced the special, you’re prompted with arrows and buttons to interact with on-screen before the timer runs out. If performed successfully, the flashing lights and cheering crowd will confirm your accomplishment.

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The major positive here is the use of dynamic dialogue choices to carefully craft the ever-so-compelling story to your liking. You can work your way to fame by being a charming patriot or a roid-raging foul mouth. The conversation never dulls no matter who you’re talking to; a true testament to the talented writers at Longtail Studios.

The SNES reminiscent graphics are a wonderful advocate for the work that went into TNA Wrestling. Each backdrop is finely detailed and crafted with a certain finesse that you can’t help but appreciate. The user interface is easy to understand and a breeze to navigate. The audio, on the other hand, is where TNA falls short.

There seems to be a single heavy metal track that the game recycles whenever it feels necessary. I went through most matches hearing nothing but a faint round of applause only to be greeted by the “soundtrack” as I was pinning my opponent. There aren’t any sound options for this, let alone any sound effects at all. I rebooted my device three times before blaming the software. It’s hard to get into a wrestling match to the tune of the crickets chirping outside your window. I won’t dwell on this, though, as it will likely be fixed in a soon-to-come patch.

Clocking in at $4.99 at the time of this review, TNA Wrestling is a pretty decent value. With games like Glyder at $1.99, I think it’s fair to say that a five dollar game is pushing the envelope a bit. Regardless, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a story development experience that has yet to be rivaled on the device. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with TNA Wrestling and look forward to transforming my wrestler from a backyard bum to a sparkling super-star.

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