System: Android Released: Friday 26th March 2021
Developer: Arren Marketing Ltd
Reviewed On: Huawei P30 Pro
"General Manager Mode". Three words that any wrestling fan LOVES to hear. After the success of GM modes in previous WWE games, and the subsequent lack of availability for many years, wrestling game fans around the world have been itching to relive the glory days and with the All Elite Wrestling GM mobile game yet to have a confirmed date, Indie Wrestler fills the gap in the wrestling market fantastically. Indie Wrestler is available currently only on Android via the Play store where, as of writing, has been downloaded over a thousand times. Indie Wrestler is also due for release on IOS but a date is yet to be confirmed.
Indie Wrestler is a football manager-style text mobile game, but instead of managing a team, you play as an aspiring independent wrestler. You make bookings with unlockable promotions around the UK, Europe, and across the pond, wrestling matches with various talent around the varied promotions on shows as well as cut promos, and respond to "incidents" in the form of social media posts. You are also able to purchase bonuses to aid your experience and these come in the form of match bonuses like managers that can ease difficult matches, referees that allow you to restart the match if the score isn't what you were hoping for, and then "world" bonuses such as cars that help you travel to bookings and contracts that help you book and negotiate contracts with the various promotions. All promotions, wrestlers, and even the incidents are all based on real wrestling entities. The goal of the game is to reach the top of the independent wrestling scene, racking up wins, building your fan base, and becoming champion in as many promotions as possible.
As mentioned previously, the "meat" of this game is in managing bookings with various promotions, wrestling matches against chosen opponents, cutting promos, and responding to social media posts known as "incidents". The biggest draw is of course the matches, and this is broken down into a scrolling series of moments between you and your opponent. You are given a choice of three opponents from the promotion you are booked with and these range in difficulty, which can be slightly altered using the "manager" bonus mentioned previously. During the match itself, you are given a tap mini-game and the totaled outcome of these will affect the overall rating of the match and will determine what you earn from the finish. Other playable aspects include promos which is essentially a memory game, in which you are given 5 snippets to remember, mixed alongside 5 others. The amount correctly chosen once the time is up will equal your score at the end.
Indie Wrestler is a fun, entertaining, and addictive game. One that encapsulates the real-world trials and tribulations of being an aspiring professional wrestler. The sheer scale of the promotions available, the wrestlers on offer, and even the "news sources" you interact with are all real parts of the independent wrestling scene, and the inclusion of these adds to the legitimacy and the immersion of the experience. This title is also free to play and the purchasable add ons or boosts are all optional and you can play without spending any real-world cash whatsoever. With any free-to-play game however comes the necessary inclusion of ads but luckily, these are sparse and didn't hinder my progress once.
As good as this game is, one of the biggest things in professional wrestling is a wrestler's character and in this area, the game is lacking. You can choose one of only a handful of outfits and these are all unlockable with in-game cash so every player-created wrestler for the first few levels will all look exactly the same. Also, whilst the matches and promos are fun, responding to incidents by choosing one of three responses is completely random. No matter your character, whether heel or face, choosing the correct response is basically a game of Russian roulette. Now, this wouldn't be so bad but if you select the "wrong" answer, you then lose one of your hard-earned bonus items, although selecting the correct answer does grant you an extra bonus of your choice.
Obviously, these are minor nit-picks and a whole, do not stop me from enjoying the game at all and are hopefully things that will be worked upon in the future.
Overall, I LOVE this as not only a fan of professional wrestling but a former wrestler myself. I give this game 9 out of 10 and I highly recommend downloading this game right now. Although, if you are on IOS, follow Indie Wrestler's social media pages for an announcement on the IOS release.
Thanks for joining me today and if you get around to playing, what did you think?
But for now, Aaron out!