TNA Impact! Hands-On Preview and Video

As America prepares to bond over nachos and football for this Sunday’s Super Bowl, let’s not forget about the other big, loud sport where muscly maniacs dominate each other physically: wrestling. Namco hasn’t forgotten about TNA’s 3 million weekly viewers, and they’re bringing out a new iPhone and iPad game to show their strength.

Namco’s TNA Impact! is simple to control. There are basic buttons for grapples, punches, and special moves, and you can combine them for combos. There are also only two bars to worry about: your health, and your special meter. Since some wrestling games pile on the moves and complicate things, we’re glad Namco is keeping the controls basic.

What’s not so cut and dry is the character roster. You’ll have 27 wrestlers available right off the bat, including superstars like Ric Flair and Rob Terry. You can also create a customized wrestler with your choice of clothing, hair, body type, and skin color.

Hulk Hogan is also an unlockable character after you finish the story mode. In story mode, you’ll fight about 10 wrestlers and see one of three plotlines, depending on how much you choose to make Hogan your ally and “brother”.

TNA Impact! will offer both single-player and multiplayer matches, with multiplayer fights occurring over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and online through Game Center. It’s the online multiplayer that’s got us really interested, since Namco will be adding online play to Puzzle Quest 2 as well.

TNA Impact! looks like it’ll offer the character roster and online options that wrestling gamers will enjoy, but we’re not sold on the game’s production values. Characters didn’t look very detailed, and the crowd noises sounded muted to us. This could all change for the final version, which you can expect to see on the App Store in Spring.