Old-school. Very old-school. A bit too old-school.
WWE Wrestlefest iOS (tested on iPhone) delivers everything you’d want it to deliver. Nearly. Unfortunately what it does not deliver is quite crucial.
It features a choice of contemporary wrestlers, mixed up with a few WWE (or rather WWF, damn those panda-lovers) legends like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Undertaker (yeah, I know, he’s still active).
The game also features six play mode, which is quite a lot for an iPhone beat’em’up, and all of them are distinct enough to earn their right to be played. The Tag Team mode stands out as the most satisfying experience, in part because the Royal Rumble does not. It often ends in a random clash of all wrestlers in the middle of the ring and the player not even being able to stand up before being locked in another sweaty man-embrace.
So why can I not whole-heartedly recommend the game, even for hardcore fans of the original? It’s just on the wrong platform. A classic showcase for a game that features old-school controls that just aren’t meant to be on an iPhone. They might work slightly better on the iPad, but to me rubbing your thumb around on the screen to try and wiggle the touch-joystick just isn’t satisfying at all. Like in the iOS version of the original Bubble Bobble, having your fingers locked on the screen takes away the joy of tapping and thus the whole point of playing on an iOS device.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is still fun, especially if you like the original and similar iterations of colliding long-haired, half-naked men like Ring King.
But the main reason I’d recommend to shy away from the iOS version for now, is that the game is announced to be released for PC, Xbox and PS3 later this year. So if you are a fan of the original, you’re likely to be a gamer and you probably own some form of console or some form of PC. And for the sake of having a real thumbstick or at least arrow keys, I’d say it’s worth the wait.