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WWE Mayhem

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
WWE Mayhem App Poster Image
Brawler is fun but taps out to heavy microtransactions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game features very basic controls, with a main focus on timing. While there's a lot of maintenance for players' rosters, upgrading and training with various resources, it's a simplified process.

Violence

The game's primary focus is fighting, with the WWE characters performing exaggerated versions of the wrestling moves they're known for. Although there's no blood or gore, some violence can get pretty extreme, including using weapons like sledgehammers, chairs, tables, and more to injure opponents.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game has a massive reliance on microtransactions, stopping just short of requiring purchases to progress. As it stands, playing without paying is an excruciatingly long grind, and players looking for competitive characters will likely need to take advantage of one of the in-game store's numerous package deals.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WWE Mayhem is an arcade style fighting game available for download on iOS and Android mobile devices. The game features characters from the WWE, both past and present, as they battle each other in the ring. The game's easy to pick up and play, with basic touch controls and constant character maintenance via leveling. Violence is a focal point of the game, and while it avoids the use of blood or gore, there are still more extreme moments, including characters using makeshift weapons such as table, chairs, sledgehammers, and the like. Parents should be aware that there's a heavy reliance on microtransactions in order to keep competitive or to make significant progress.

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What's it about?

WWE MAYHEM takes all the fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled action of the squared circle and packs it into mobile devices with this arcade fighter. Build your roster from past and present WWE legends and superstars, then hit the ring for over-the-top dream matches, pitting the likes of John Cena and The Rock against "The Beast" Brock Lesnar or The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles. You'll launch your career throughout the game's story mode and various timed events with themes and rewards coinciding with the WWE's epic pay-per-view events. Then, one you've shaken off the ring rust, take on all comers in online versus play and earn your shot at the title.

Is it any good?

Fans of the WWE tune in every week to watch all their favorite superstars in shows that are part choreographed stunt show, part soap opera, and part gladiatorial games. WWE Mayhem brings that same feeling to mobile devices with an over-the-top fighting game that's heavy on action and character, but also buried under a business model that forces players to tap out to a choke hold of microtransactions. The result is a game that's fun to play, but expensive to maintain.

On the positive side, WWE Mayhem does a fantastic job of leaning into the larger than life personas of the WWE superstars. The characters are cartoonishly exaggerated, leaving behind any sense of realism in favor of a style that makes them superhuman. Character soar through the air to ridiculous heights before slamming opponents down with seismic force. And yet, the game's controls make all of this action feel smooth and fluid. Unfortunately, it's not long before players hit a plateau, unable to make much progress or to add better characters to their rosters unless they're willing to spend extra money. Worse still, these purchases usually take the shape of package deals that never feel like they're actual "deals." While you can earn some necessary resources and characters through grinding the gameplay, it takes way too long and leaves players way too underpowered to make any actual progress. As a result, unless you're a huge WWE fan, you may tap out before fully diving into the chaos of WWE Mayhem.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in entertainment. Is the impact of the violence in WWE Mayhem affected by how exaggerated it is compared to professional wrestling? How does the violence in professional wrestling/sports entertainment compare to violence in other forms of sport or entertainment? How do the performers train to put on a choreographed show, and why is it important that kids not try these moves at home?

  • What are some of the ways that microtransactions can create problems with certain games? When does a game become more of a "pay to win" experience, and what are the pitfalls of this model?

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