The WWE have been after that elusive successful mobile game for years. Well, let me differentiate things a bit here: I don’t consider the PlayStation Portable and PS Vita or Nintendo DS and 3DS “mobile” platforms. Those are portables. Mobile devices to me are cell phones. Okay, with that out of the way, onwards with my review of WWE Champions for mobile. Fans of Bejeweled or those old MicroLeague Wrestling games on the Commodore 64 will be right at home with WWE Champions.
There is a whole myriad of options, menus, and screens to wade through before you get to the first match. That is the main detractor I have for WWE Champions: starting out just takes so long due to the handhold tutorial. I understand this is probably a necessary evil, but it is annoyingly slow paced. Things are not as bad as the tutorials for games like Game of War or Empire War, though, so we are, at least, ahead of those games here.
WWE Champions is quite an interesting mix of genres, at least how I see it. On one hand, the fights are turn-based (I know that is odd for a wrestling game). On the other hand, this is a puzzle game first, so the turn-based fights make sense. How well you play Bejeweled style games will dictate how well your chosen superstar (they are not called wrestlers by the WWE) does in the ring. The top portion of the screen is where the superstars duke it out, perform moves, and pin each other. The lower part of the screen is where you should be concentrating your attention: the puzzle board. If you remember those MicroLeague Wrestling games, then you have an idea of how things go down here, just you have a little more control over what moves are performed versus picking from a list and your opponent picking “block”.
Okay, I started the game with The Rock then earned John Cena then Roman Reigns (then I picked up Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens). I am not sure if that is just the normal first set of superstars everyone gets or not (I don’t plan on wading through that tutorial again), but that is who I got.
As you play, you earn various things that can be used to upgrade your superstars and their moves (yes, there are In-app Purchases here). Coins can be used to upgrade superstars (go for those suitcases during your matches) and then training points for various styles are earned, which can be used to upgrade the moves of each superstar.
Much like Rock, Paper, Scissors, certain wrestling styles will out perform others. This is reiterated throughout the game with in between match tip screens. Pay attention to these, at least early on, as they are informative, if not repetitive. Match pins were something I was concerned with when I first started playing WWE Champions. For instance, how were pins implemented? Well, you beat on your opponent and take their life bar down (stamina I guess?) and between the puzzle board and the action screen is a sliding bar–like tug-o-war. When the bar is all the way one way or the other, the superstar is ripe for a pin (time to perform your power move that you should have been powering up the whole match). Kicking out of a pin was my main concern. This is accomplished by having stamina left and then making the right matches to bring the point counter down before the ref counts three. This is not a frenetic moment, though (that would be cool), as you have three chances to make matches–cascades are really helpful here. Get it, three chances, the ref counts to three. Okay, anyhow on with the rest of the review.
The computer still manages to make cascades quite often–cheating or just lucky? You be the judge as you face losing a hard fought match.
As you play WWE Champions, you get to take different routes. Much like Puzzle Quest offers branching paths that lead to different enemies and loot, WWE Champions gives you different arenas and opponents to face. Some career avenues require different superstars or superstars with certain styles of fighting. If you cannot take an avenue now, remember it for later as you can come back and take that career path again so you can complete your roster, improve your superstars, and bulk up their moves. Once in the match, though, the arenas all look the same, at least to my eyes.
Okay, let’s discuss the action on top of the screen a bit and then you can hit the link below to grab your copy of WWE Champions. The superstars are ripped and in shape. So much so, had this game been released with characters like this in the early 1990s, it would have probably been used as evidence by misguided lawyers in that steroids trial. I do have to question how Neville is almost the same size (height and build) as John Cena, Roman Reigns, or The Rock.
WWE Champions is a unique mix of two genres (wrestling and Bejeweled match 3 puzzles) and it works. I have another game on my review list that is very similar to this but it uses football instead of wrestling, er superstars. This one is great as I am a fan of the WWE and of Bejeweled style puzzle games. If you are not a fan of either then you will probably be bored to tears with this download.
WWE Champions by Scopely
Genre: Puzzle, match 3
Platform: Android (ZTE ZMAX 2 used for review) and iPhone, iPad
In-app Purchases: Yes, similar to Injustice: Gods Among Us (packs, coins, etc)
Rated: T for Teen on Google Play and 12+ on iTunes
Available now on and the iTunes App Store