When has a wrestling board game been so captivating that wrestlers and fans are playing each other? When has a wrestling board game been so popular that it popped up at wrestling shows across the board? When has a wrestling board game left people begging for more? Only Chris Holley, the creator of Submission, can answer those questions.
Holley, 24, resides in Queens, NY and enjoys his “real world” job of substitute teaching, as well as a working as a tutor in an elementary school. In his spare time, Holley enjoys watching wrestling and attending live events. On a bus trip home from a wrestling show, Holley along with former partner Michael Verdino began playing a verbal version of what would become the game Submission.
Submission is a new, beat the clock, wrestling trivia game. But after disasters such as WWE Trivia, why would someone want to invest in making a board game of the same fabric?
“The main reason for designing Submission was that there was a lack of a legitimate wrestling game. Submission is that wrestling game that many fans wanted for years that is finally here,” Holley said.
As to be expected with a game of this genre, much doubt came with the territory. “To be honest, when the game first came out, many people were skeptical,” explained Holley. “Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a dreamer and a risk taker, but more importantly, if I put my mind to something there is no stopping me. I feel that once people began to play the beta version of the game, all doubts were soon forgotten and they immediately wanted to help make this game a reality.”
Submission combines a blend wrestling knowledge, strategy and a quick hand. Given a pad, timer, pencil and cards, categories are chosen and competitors have to write down their answers; the person with the most answers wins the round. However, traditional play isn’t the only mode with this game. “My favorite part about Submission is a Tap Out Mode,” said Holley. “In this mode, trivia meets strategy, and since I play a card game called Magic, this mode really allows me to plan my moves out as opposed to the randomness of the category cards alone. Also what’s great about Tap Out Mode is that every individual Tap Out card tells a little story, not to mention the amazing art work done by Frank Cassuto, a freelance artist from Marvel Comics.”
While the rule book is in-depth and extremely descriptive, it doesn’t cramp the game’s style. While Holley feels that he may have gone a bit overboard on it, his biggest gripe is with the box design, “The box is very plain and has been a deterrent for getting Submission into stores. The reason for the plainess is that I was looking for a more mature look. I didn’t want to make it loud and obnoxious; I wanted to make it smooth and sharp for the older audience.”
Holley doesn’t plan on stopping here, he plans to make his game grow, something that he admits, confuses those around him. “A lot of people ask me how can somebody make a game evolve, it’s simple. As you become a more knowledgeable wrestling fan, you become better at Submission. Let’s say I went to a wrestling show last night and saw five wrestlers that I have never heard of before, simply put, that’s five new answers for the game. The most rewarding part about Submission is that the more you watch wrestling, the better you become at the game.”
While Holley openly states that the game isn’t for everybody, he challenges people to give it a try. “If you love wrestling and have people to sit down and play this game with, even if it’s for five minutes a week, then this game is for you. Submission will provide you with hours of fun for a $20 investment. However, if you are a solo wrestling fan, or really don’t know that much about this great sport, then please don’t waste your money.”
Holley hopes to introduce the first “Expansion” in March 2006. Voting for categories and other Submission related topics can be done at the official website, www.submissiongame.com. “I would personally like to thank anyone who has supported Submission thus far. This game wouldn’t be a reality if it weren’t for the great wrestling fans out there.”