Our wrestling The preview takes a look at the upcoming RPG that focuses on the outlandish and over-the-top nature of the sport while telling a reverent story about the icons that laid the foundation for modern wrestling. WrestleQuest already seems like the go-to game for long-time wrestling fans, even if it’s a bit more eccentric than its WWE and AEW contemporaries.
WrestleQuest is, at its core, an innovative blend of wrestling culture, the sport of professional wrestling, and turn-based RPGs. It was this combination that stood out to me the most during my time with the preview, as Mega Cat Studios has adapted what fans know about the sport both in and out of the ring to create some truly unique and entertaining mechanics. We previously called WrestleQuest Earthbound with Randy Savage, and there’s definitely some truth to that.
QTEs help give matches a sense of immediacy, and you’ll need to immobilize certain enemies to win, while double, triple, team, and manager moves can change the flow of battle depending on how you set them up and use them. . WrestleQuest isn’t just an RPG with a coat of wrestling paint, as the mechanics of a wrestling match are cleverly woven into the action throughout.
You can even run pre-match promotions and customize your ticket, with your level of glitz affecting the crowd and granting you useful in-ring bonuses.
The crowd is equally important in the heat of a match as well, as you’ll need to keep them entertained throughout to keep those bonuses coming. This is another notch in the WrestleQuest belt of truly brilliant ideas that elevate each and every match beyond a back and forth of spamming the best moves and using AP potions.
WrestleQuest even uses kayfabe to its advantage, as you are sometimes given optional objectives in matches for additional bonuses, all of which are presented as different locations and in-ring drama that you can try to pull off. This often influences the story as well, helping to create a strong link between the gameplay and the narrative that feels integral to the design of WrestleQuest.
I was initially hesitant about the whole toy box thing, where the game world is made up entirely of action figures and toys, but seeing it in motion explains why WrestleQuest needs it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t find a giant moose man swinging pucks with a hockey stick in the ring, a wrestling velociraptor named Sunset Fliptor, or some delightfully obtuse video game references.
It’s strange, though, because while the toy versions of certain real-world wrestlers sell WrestleQuest’s reverence for the sport, not all of the references here feel as natural, from YouTubers to comic book characters. If these references were jokes, their inclusion would make more sense, but they’re not. That being said, the ‘anything goes’ mentality of the toy box is still a positive, allowing for a constant stream of creativity.
The story also clearly incorporates fighting tropes both in the ring and behind the scenes, where you’ll play as two main characters, each with very different goals. One wants to rise through the ranks to become a champion, while the other seeks his family’s wrestling business. While both characters are engaging, I was often tossed between their stories too quickly, with neither having enough time to absorb before I was swept away by the other.
Even with that complaint, WrestleQuest is sure to delight fans of wrestling and turn-based RPGs. It takes the genre in some interesting directions while revering and mocking wrestling culture as a whole in a way that feels genuine. If you want even more wrestling video games, our recent AEW Fight Forever review will let you know if WWE2K’s rival is worth a try.
As you wait for the WrestleQuest release date of Tuesday, August 8, you’ll want to see what other upcoming games of 2023 and beyond are worth following. Or you can check out the best new games for PC.