The WWE has been raking it in on the App Store with their stable of casual, free to play games aimed at wrestling fans. Games like WWE Champions (Free), WWE Tap Mania (Free), and WWE Supercard (Free) allow us to collect all of the over-the-top characters us wrestling fans love by way of breezy, casual gameplay that’s well-suited for mobile. These games certainly aren’t for everyone but it’s hard to deny just how successful they’ve been. Today the WWE stable of mobile games increases by one with the release of WWE Mayhem (Free), which was created in partnership with Reliance Games. This is a casual fighting game in a similar vein to Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions (Free) or NetherRealm’s Injustice 2 (Free). Here’s the trailer for WWE Mayhem so you can see it in action.
You might be thinking, “Hey didn’t WWE already release a swipe fighter?" and you would be correct. WWE Immortals (Free) has been kicking and punching on the App Store for nearly 3 years now, and based on its update frequency I don’t see it going anywhere. WWE Mayhem, while being a very similar type of game, definitely plays differently than WWE Immortals and also features more “grounded" versions of its WWE Superstars.
One thing that kind of turned me off to WWE Immortals was how its characters were these strange fantasy spin-off versions, which sometimes could result in something cool but more often than not was just sort of silly. WWE Mayhem may feature extremely stylized and over-the-top (even more so than the real-life versions) characters, but at least they’re mostly faithful to the actual real-world superstars. There are sure to be fans of both games, and I definitely think there’s room for both to coexist.
As for WWE Mayhem specifically, I’ve played around with it for a bit and I actually really like it. You’re probably familiar with the basics: tap to throw light attacks, swipe to throw heavy attacks or dash back and forth, hold the screen to block, and fill up a 3-segment special meter to performa a variety of special moves with the tap of a button. It’s definitely standard stuff, but the fighting feels pretty tight and there are a couple of neat twists that spice up the formula and make it feel more like wrestling.
One is that you’ll need to pin your opponent when you’ve depleted their health bar, and this is accomplished with a quick-reaction mini-game that has you tapping at just the right moment as a meter moves back and forth quite like how you’d set your swing strength in an old-school golf game. It’s a minor thing, but it actually brings a bit of excitement when you need to be on your toes and be able to tap at the right time, and if you don’t your opponent gets up and you’re right back in the fight. Another neat feature in WWE Mayhem is the reversal system, which really is just tapping a button when prompted if your special meter is full enough but it does add a wrinkle to the strategy and can save you from getting blasted with your opponent’s special move. Here’s a quick video of what reversals are like in action.
One thing to mention is that, surprising absolutely no one, WWE Mayhem is very very free to play. That means an energy system, multiple in-game currencies, a gacha system for unlocking characters, and a resource-grind for upgrading any of those characters. It’s got it all! That said, I think most people have learned by now how to enjoy these free to play games for what they are, playing for a few moments throughout the day and rarely spending any money while a very tiny group of people go on and spend loads of money to subsidize everyone else playing. That’s just how it goes nowadays!
Besides the pretty standard story campaign and multiplayer modes, WWE Mayhem will also host live in-game events during their live WWE programming. I’m pretty interested to see how that will work, and a similar thing made Madden NFL Football (Free) a massive hit with fans as something to do during commercial breaks while watching their teams play. WWE’s next live event is the Clash of Champions pay-per-view this Sunday and there’s already advertisement in-game for a special live event going down during the show. I’ll probably be watching the event anyway so I’ll be sure to check out how the in-game event goes.
As you might know I’ve been a big fan of these swipe fighters for years now, and while I always eventually get to a point where the free to play grind does me in and I delete the game I certainly enjoy my time with them up until that point. I recently got out of playing Injustice 2 as it got to the point where it felt like a daily chore more than a fun distraction, so I’m actually in the market for a new free to play fighter to spend my time with. I’m also a huge WWE fan so WWE Mayhem is pushing all the right buttons for me right now. If you’ve enjoyed any of the previously mentioned swipe fighters then I’d suggest giving WWE Mayhem a download for free and giving it a spin, even if you’re not a big WWE fan. If you do try it out or are just interested in hearing what others think, be sure to stop by the game’s forum thread for some discussion.