Thought I’d create a thread about reviews, in case people are on the fence (I can see a thread about spoilers, but none dedicated to reviews). I wrote a 5/5 star review myself. I’ll copy and paste the text into the thread as well. Apologies for any grammatical mistakes. I was kinda working on my own story at the same time as typing the review up.
First of all, if you’re looking for a proper game with graphics etc., this isn’t the right app for you. There are no graphics. You simply read, like you would a normal book, until you arrive at a choice in the narrative. You also have stats to consider, which can affect the outcome of things. Making choices and having stats are the only game-like elements. Essentially, think of the old choose your own adventure books. Also, from this point on, I’ll be referring to the app as a novel/book, as I prefer to think of it as an interactive novel rather than a game.
Moving on, it is very obvious that a lot of love and care has gone into writing this story. Not only that, but having meaningful choices that affect the narrative, rather than fake choices that do nothing, is essential with this type of game. I’m pleased to say that the author has also given this aspect of the novel a lot of care as well. Not everything will branch, but there will be callbacks to previous choices, choices can affect the story branches you receive as you get further in, and they matter. So, you’re guaranteed to not see everything in one playthrough. It is a lengthy read too, with the whole ‘book’ being 250,000 words as stated in the product description. You won’t see a large chunk of them per read-through. Basically, I guarantee that you won’t feel like you paid too much for the app, as it’s value for money.
You shouldn’t avoid the book because you dislike wrestling either. Yes, the book is about wrestling, but it is also about so much more. You will read about matches, but you will also find that a large part of the book is dedicated to backstage politics, character relationships and how the business works. There are plenty of twists and turns as well. This brings me to the possible romances that you can have your character pursue. They are very well implemented and the romanceable characters are integrated into the overall narrative, which is rare as romance can often feel like it’s been shoe-horned in and like an afterthought.
Now, I want to talk about the amount of writing that goes into making a ‘book’ like this before I get to the negative side of things, in order to explain why I’ve given 5/5 stars rather than 4/5 stars.
I’m a writer myself and as I’m typing this review, I have an ‘interactive story’ open myself that I’m working on. Currently, I have 474 words written, with six possible branches in a chapter that is nowhere near finished. I’m also only working on one current story path. Now, look at those numbers and consider how hard it must have been for the writer to write a 250,000 word novel that branches. It’d be hell to edit and to keep everything straight. This is without touching on code, which I don’t have to bother with thankfully. So, the writer has done a great job as it would be so easy to say ‘screw it, I’m only going to use fake choices that don’t really affect anything’.
This brings me to the negatives. There are a few typos, grammatical errors etc. throughout the book. They didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story though, as they were not numerous and no book is ever perfectly edited, nevermind one that has code to sift through and branching paths. I know I wouldn’t be able to edit this with code anyway, and I’m also a freelance editor. The only other fault I can see with the game, though it isn’t one for me, is that the stat checks felt a bit too easy to pass. So, people may not like that, but people who just want a good, interactive story won’t mind it, I think. On the positive side, some of the decisions when dealing with politics etc. backstage felt quite hard to make, which is good.
So, the reason I’m giving Slammed! 5/5 stars is because it would be very hard to keep it error free. There are other reasons too. 1) It is refreshing to find a wrestling book/game focusing on the characters themselves (not the characters they portray when wrestling), and on the politics. 2) It is a very enjoyable read, for wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans, though a few non-wrestling fans might not understand some of the terminology (I don’t think it’ll be a big deal). 3) There is a genuine reason to go through the book multiple times. 4) There is a thread on the company’s forum where typos etc. can be reported, so the errors present will be cleared up in time and again, they’re not numerous.
So, Slammed! may not be perfect, but I feel it is as close as it can come to being perfect. Hence the 5/5 stars, with nothing ever being perfect.