We don’t often come across mobile games that leave us addicted to them but The Muscle Hustle is one such game. We haven’t been able to put it down since we downloaded it. The tagline for the game is slingshot wrestling, and it’s exactly that. Imagine carrom or marbles, only instead of coins or marbles, you have wrestlers, or disks with wrestlers faces on them. Mind you these aren’t wrestlers from the real world. They’re an original cast of wrestlers drawn by the Studio.
The controls are incredibly easy. All you need to do is place your finger down and drag in the direction opposite to where you want your wrestler to go, you know, like a slingshot.
The game does a good job of teaching you the ropes when you first start off. The goal is simple, defeat the opponent wrestlers. To do that, you need to get their health down to zero, which is done by flinging your wrestler into them. Things get even more interesting when you add the wrestler’s special moves into the mix. There’s quite a lot of wrestlers to choose from and they’ve all got unique skillsets for the most part. Additionally, wrestlers have individual stats as well, which include attack, health and range. Attack determines how much damage your wrestler does with each contact, health is, of course, their health pool, and range determines how much they bounce around before coming to a stop. You will find that certain wrestlers work well with each other and certain skillsets complement each other. Additionally, all wrestlers are associated with a category which is colour-coded. These categories go by names like Hard-heads (purple), Showmen (yellow), Olympians (blue), Law & Disorder (red) etc. The colours for each are important because they follow a rock-paper-scissors type system. Red is strong vs Yellow, Yellow is strong vs Green, Green is strong vs Blue and so on till it goes full circle.
All wrestlers you acquire can be levelled up. Of course, how much you can level them up depends on their rating. Jobbers or the lowest tier can only go up to three stars, Pros can reach up to a 4-star rating and Superstars can reach the maximum of 5 stars. Each level up grants your wrestler a new skill, so Superstars are obviously superior in this aspect. When you level a wrestler to three, you get to choose between going “heel” or “face”. These are basically wrestling terms for choosing to be a bad guy or a good guy. This is important because teaming up three heels or three faces gives each wrestler a bonus in power. Gaining wrestlers is random, you can’t pick the wrestlers you want. But you can opt to go for a bundle of 5 which guarantees you one higher tier wrestler. The bundle of five that gives a guaranteed superstar costs gold, which you need real money to purchase, but you do get it from completing challenges and championship belt series, which we’ll talk more about below. The other bundle of five which guarantees a pro costs in-game currency, which we found was fairly easy to make. Even accumulating gold over time was fairly easy and we had already acquired 4-5 superstar tier wrestlers in the span of little over a week. Although, luck does have a role to play here.
There are three different playable modes, the first is a single player campaign of sorts. This is basically a championship belt series which has between 6-12 matches per series (depending on the difficulty of the series) with the last one being a boss fight. Finishing these rewards you with 25 gold and the next series scales up the difficulty. As you progress, the levels get progressively difficult and introduce newer obstacles into the mix like fire and crates.
Next, you have special matches, for which you need passes. You accumulate up to 3 of these and they’re on a 25 minute cooldown each. These matches are a great way to collect in-game cash and gear to level up your wrestlers. You can opt to buy a contract to immediately renew all three passes but those require gold, which again, requires real money. We’d advise you don’t spend the gold you get in-game on this and save up for superstars.
Finally you have multiplayer where you’re pitted against another player in your league (mmr). You start off as a jobber and with a certain star limit. Say you have a seven star limit, you can’t exceed that with the wrestlers you use. So you can have seven, one-star jobbers, or three two-star jobbers/pros, or two three-star pros/superstars and so-on. We didn’t get too into multiplayer, but we did find that it can be a bit one-sided if you’re unfamiliar with the wrestler types and weaknesses.
Finally, there are the challenges, which are basically like daily missions which you complete to gain coaches(bonus exp for your wrestlers), in-game currency, wrestlers and even gold.
Overall, the game’s incredibly fun and quite addictive. We didn’t realise how many hours we’d spent on it the first time we started playing. It’s surprisingly wasn’t too hard on our mobile either, despite running for as long as it did. We’d also like to add that the audio and voice-acting is also very well done. We enjoyed the music and the special move sound effects and even the character designs are very well done.
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.