Toy Story may be a classic film about the life of toys, but do you know what it doesn’t address? The best toy wrestlers the world has ever seen! Thankfully, WrestleQuest by developer Mega Cat Studios takes care of that, and in excellent fashion. WrestleQuest goes off-script and tells us a unique story full of ups, downs, and all-around great times.
WrestleQuest is a pro wrestling RPG mashup. You’ll explore a bunch of different areas, like lush forests, frozen tundras, and vast deserts. The game features a gorgeous pixel art design with a powerbomb nostalgia factor. Each area has its own culture and story, as well as creatures to battle and treasures to find. WrestleQuest is full of gimmicks and tropes, with little tidbits and phrases here and there that may bring back memories of the ‘good old days’ of professional wrestling.
The game follows the adventures of two main characters, Randy “Muchacho Man” Santos and Brink Logan, in their bids to reach the top of the wrestling food chain. Their stories are told separately. Muchacho Man comes from the bottom of the toy box while Brink was brought up in a well-off wrestling family. However, these two very different characters have more in common than you may think.
Exploring their stories was a blast! Getting to know more about each character, as well as their companions, along their wrestling paths and seeing how they developed throughout, it was easy to see that the developers put a lot of passion and effort into their creation. Many of the character designs and personas took inspiration from real, historic wrestlers, like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Jake the Snake Roberts, and Andre the Giant. There are even shrines to some iconic wrestling heroes found throughout the world.
While each area is unique and fun to explore, they can also feel empty. It’s not a continuous open world, but you do have a fair amount of freedom to approach, or avoid, each area and encounter. However, plenty of areas could have been more… well, just more. I would sometimes run through a small area and there would be nothing there; no enemies, no treasures – just a pathway.
Sometimes areas are also just downright confusing to navigate. There’s no world map to pull up and the minimap is featureless, only showing icons for key structures and the mission objective. I got turned around more than a few times by not being able to plot out a path forward.
Combat mashes up classic RPG combat with wrestling moves, like piledrivers and off-the-ropes knockdowns. As you work your way up from aspiring rookie to world champion, you’ll face an assortment of creatures and other foes who will put your wrestling skills to the test. Each area features different kinds of enemies, with their own attacks and fighting styles that will keep you on your toes. It never feels like they’re just recycling old enemies or attacks. Each fight feels fresh and presents unique challenges for the player to navigate.
You’ll have different skills, called gimmicks, to use in each fight. Some cause mega damage, some inflict status effects, and others lend a helping hand to your team. Using gimmicks takes up AP, however, so using them wisely in conjunction with basic attacks as well as consumables to reload AP and HP is a must. Otherwise, you’ll be left virtually defenseless while the opponent smashes your face into the floor. You can also unlock various Tag-Team skills for an even bigger impact, but these also take up AP, so plan accordingly.
Each character gains experience points after each fight. New gimmicks and Tag-Team skills are unlocked by leveling up, and your characters will get a well-deserved increase in stats. While you don’t have to fight every enemy you meet, I do recommend doing as many fights as you can to make sure everyone gets the chance to get leveled up. Otherwise, you may find yourself underpowered later on. You’ll also pick up new allies along the way, and they’ll lend their own unique skills to your arsenal when they join you in the ring.
Combat is turn-based, with one side’s wrestlers taking their turns attacking, buffing, or otherwise supporting, and then the other side doing their gig. The win condition of each fight depends on many factors; some fights might have a list of mandatory actions to take during the fight while others may be as simple as downing all enemies in the ring. Some fights are much more challenging than others, but I never felt truly overwhelmed by any particular encounter. Even the boss fights aren’t all that bad. Maybe they should be, but I found it refreshing that boss fight outcomes were determined by planning actions accordingly more so than just being pummeled into the ground the whole time. It felt more skill-based and less like I was always on the defensive.
To aid you in the fight, you’ll collect gear along the way from treasure chests found in each area as well as from winning fights. Some gear may be better suited for specific characters, so make sure you’re paying attention to what is being equipped and where. Later in the game, you also gain the ability to craft new items, as long as you have the ingredients and the blueprints to do so. Unfortunately, this was an area of the game where I was a little disappointed. I rarely came across a new blueprint, and even if I did, I rarely had what was needed to craft anything. I think I ended up with only three blueprints, and I couldn’t craft any of the items. This definitely felt more like an afterthought than something given the attention needed to be a core mechanic.
Unfortunately, I did run into some troubles late in the game. I came to a point where the game stopped keeping my save progress, even when I initiated a manual save. This meant that if I lost a fight and was met with the dreaded ‘Game Over’ screen, I’d be sent back sometimes 30 minutes or so. I’d have to redo any gear changes, area traversal, and anything else that had been reset. The only way to remedy this was to not lose the fight, which was sometimes easier said than done. While this isn’t necessarily a game-breaking issue, it’s definitely a cause for concern that I hope gets fixed right away after launch.
I’m wondering if this will be improved upon post-launch as well, but right now mouse and keyboard is not the recommended input method to play WrestleQuest. When I tried using a mouse and keyboard, I’d often get stuck because I couldn’t figure out which buttons did what. You’d think that ‘E’ would be to interact, like it is in most games on PC, or at least a mouse click would do the job, but you’d be wrong, and then you’d be baffled. I never figured out all of the controls for using a mouse and keyboard. You’ll be much better off using a controller when playing this game, even if they do fix up mouse and keyboard support. It makes everything smooth as spandex.
As someone who isn’t that much of a fan of wrestling, WrestleQuest has been a blast to play. Combat is very fun and satisfying, especially when you’re really laying the hurt down on a bunch of baddies and you’re watching the XP bars fill up, sometimes having characters level up two or three times from a single fight. I’ve also enjoyed exploring each area, figuring out the different puzzles, and getting to know all of the characters. It’s great that this game will be available on all platforms so no one has to deal with FOMO, like some of our dear characters in the game.
Cassie Peterson is an Editor for Gaming Trend but also a sporadic content creator and exceedingly average Rainbow Six Siege player. She goes by MzPanik on Twitter and Twitch and all of the gaming platforms.
WrestleQuest is a fantastic wrestling RPG adventure with fun and satisfying exploration, combat, and character development. The game does have a few wrinkles to iron out, however, whether you’re a life-long wrestling fan or just a casual fan like me, WrestleQuest is a must-have. ¡Oh Si!