Novice Player Review

    By Paul Jordan

In 2016, every wrestling fan seems to have an opinion about how to book certain angles or performers. For better or worse many think they have the key to make shows more fun and entertaining. But do they really? Do they really know what is involved in front of and behind the scenes of running a wrestling promotion? Well, now you can with the latest in the Total Extreme Wrestling series from Grey Dog Software.

I’ve played booking simulators before. I’ve dabbled with the likes of MDickie Booking Mpire and the old WWE Smackdown versus Raw GM modes and they just don’t compare. There is a multitude of options to tweak to make the world your own. When you first first start up the game you are met with a ton of options. This can be really daunting when you’re just starting out. But if you stick with it you begin to realize that this is the booking game that wrestling fans have always wanted.

If this wasn’t enough, there is a massive game mod community. Fans have created modifications with scenarios for modern-day federations and scenarios of past years. Want to book WCW in 2000? You can do it. Want to book Championship Wrestling from Florida in the 70s? You can do it. Want to book the Attitude Era in 1999? You can do it.

Is this game for everybody? No. As I said before there’s quite a learning curve. It took me two hours to really understand what was going on. And that was just trying to change gimmicks. I haven’t even officially really booked a week of television. That’s how deep everything goes. But I would say this much I’ve been bitten by the bug and I will be playing this in the coming weeks which will definitely slow down my productivity quite a bit.

If you’re the hardest of the hard-core and you think you can do better than what you see on television, give TEW 2016 a try. There’s nothing else like it out there.

Paul Jordan

Experienced User Review

By Tyler Wilson

As a long-time player of TEW, I was excited to see what TEW 2016 would bring me. After spending weeks reading over developer diaries, and crossing off days on my calendar, it had finally released on May 2nd.

The short of it is quite simply, if you enjoyed TEW 2013, you will love TEW 2016 just as much, if not more. In my own game channel, I tend to value depth and the feeling of being a part of your game more than just bright, shiny graphics. I enjoy the idea of having a game to play where you truly feel like you can take pride in what you have done in your game, because it allows you into its world, rather than just going week by week without thinking too much. TEW 2016 has added new features that allow just that. From further control over your backstage, and managing your roster and what issues they have, to further control over how your shows are presented, and what stories they tell, when you are in charge of a promotion, you are truly in charge. The backstage may truly be one of the things I’ve been most excited about utilizing in this game. In TEW 2013, you had some control over how your locker room acts, and how morale can stay high. In TEW 2016, public firings, ribs, involving yourself in other workers’ disputes, all there to give the aura that what you have is YOUR roster, and you can live and die by your decisions with handling them, whether it be in good fun, or when handing out discipline.

Booking hasn’t changed too much, with a few exceptions. The ability to hire someone locally for one night is, in my opinion, a great addition. So far, it’s given me the ability in my saves to bring in people to try them out, and see what they can do, or if I just need someone for the night who can eat a pin for a major roster member. Contracts have also been re-worked slightly to ensure that small promotions, like what I enjoy running, don’t have to pay downsides anymore, which was something I wasn’t too fond of in TEW 2013. Another major thing improved with booking is the ability to truly control the flow of the crowd. I’ve noticed how complex it can be to ensure that the crowd is hot when you need them to be, and cooled down when there isn’t much going on. TEW 2016 has massively improved those areas by creating “Match Aims”. Matches designed to be presented in a specific way to control the crowd. If you have been building up a major match for quite some time, you can always aim for the “Epic” match aim. For cool off matches between co-main and main event, “Calm The Crowd” is perfect for that. Pitting 2 great in-ring workers together, and think they can put on something special? “Steal The Show” is made for that. There are at least a dozen different aims for matches to use that can help determine what type of match you want to portray. On a small note, angles for your shows have seen one major addition that for me and others I know who play this game, have been a God-send. Freestyle Angles have now been added so that you can do away with pre-made, or spending too much time creating your own angles to implement. Simply add in whom you want, what they should do, and well it help them. Type out what it is in the description, and boom, angle made. I don’t think I can ever go back to pre-made ones ever again.

I could go on for page after page detailing the improvements made, but I do want to add in just a small bit of cons to this game. I honestly did not have much to consider a drawback until recent patches came out to “improve realism”. I’m all for improving realism, and hope to see more of it in the future. Sometimes I feel there’s been a weird mix of realism and stretched realism in this game. The balance sometimes feels like it’s off in certain areas. Contracts feel a bit inflated for certain local workers, and sponsorships, as well as promotion growth, feels a bit on the slim side. This is only a real issue I’ve had since the 1.05 patch came out. I’ve been around local guys here in the Midwest who can put on decent shows for a couple hundred people in the middle of nowhere using guys they know in the business for $100 or less for that show. The minimum for any worker is $200 to have them there, so it seems a bit odd to have slightly inflated contracts as well as quite realistic sponsorship levels, leading to almost immediate bankruptcy if you don’t have a decent amount of capital behind it. Being a small promotion is difficult in this game, as it should be, though I feel more recent changes made it almost impossible. Certain mechanics in the game don’t quite mesh the best with certain promotions and how they operate. Of course, the game has it’s own universe built into it, but many people will be quite interested in using real life mods, which is understandable. The only issue is that some smaller promotions even just here in America don’t quite fit the mechanics of the game, and feels a bit wonky if implemented, but like everything else in this game, that can be and most likely will be improved in due time.

I don’t know if I have a grade or star rating, or whatever to give this game, but I will say this one more time: If you enjoyed TEW 2013, you will enjoy this game. If you enjoy the aspect of being able to control and micro-manage many aspects of your promotion, you will enjoy this game. If you’ve been interested in booking wrestling, and have spent an ungodly amount of time toiling away on EWR forever, and can afford it, you should get this game, and give it a chance. As with any major simulation game, there is a steep learning curve to dealing with all aspects of this game, but when you do, it’s extremely rewarding. If you’ve been an EWR player for years, Adam Ryland has done a great job in creating a way to bring you guys over to TEW without getting too overwhelmed by the depth of everything. Going from EWR to TEW can be like being in the kiddy pool for years, then learning how to dive in the deep end, but there are options to lessen this blow, and help you get used to this game. Only drawback I have mostly stem from running a smaller promotion, and the odd blend of realism and non-realism behind it, but it’s a bit of a minor thing to get used to, and not all that bad.

Overall, if you’re a wrestling fan who has ever been interested in fantasy booking, and testing what you could truly do if a favorite promotion of yours was in your hands, this is the game for you. I strongly recommend you give it a shot, because I did years ago, and I’ve spent way too much of my time since, clocking in hour after hour, face-deep in this series.

Tyler Wilson

You can purchase the game here for $34.95 For a free demo of the game click here