WrestleQuest Review - Screenshot 1 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

If you’ve ever had the oddly specific dream of rising through the ranks of a toy-based wrestling world, then you’re in luck. WrestleQuest enters the ring with a deadly combo of late-'80s wrestling nostalgia and mid-'90s JRPG mechanics, celebrating both while not quite managing to deliver the three-count at the end. However, if you grew up in those very specific eras, you should find enough here to power through to the championship fight.

Mega Cat Studio’s latest offering builds a fascinating world right from the start. The populace of a children’s toy box has become obsessed with professional wrestling, idolising the likes of Macho Man Randy Savage and Jake the Snake. Life in the toy box revolves around wrestling and every conflict is settled in the ring with flashy moves and high-stakes action.

Aside from a few inconsistencies, such as not everyone realising that wrestling is – spoilers – fake, the world is the best thing about WrestleQuest. There is a wholesomeness to it, as if a child with a handful of official wrestling action figures is bringing the rest of their toys into the ring. The writers clearly know and love their wrestling and terminology; there are ample heel-turns and babyfaces to contend with. At times, WrestleQuest feels more like Toy Story than a wrestling game, with bright and colourful visuals and characters that feel stiff and plastic yet strangely full of life.

WrestleQuest Review - Screenshot 2 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

The story follows two main toys on their journey to greatness. Muchacho Man has, like many kids of the era, based his entire personality on the larger-than-life antics of Randy Savage and is trying to rise through the ranks to take on his idol in the ring. Meanwhile, in a winter-themed area of the toy box, is Brink Logan — a more subtle but still recognisable send-up of Bret “The Hitman” Hart — who struggles to balance his loyalty to his family and his own dreams for stardom.

Neither storyline is particularly compelling, though Logan’s quest has a touch more depth to it. The paper-thin plot mostly consists of going to a new area filled with enemies until you reach the inevitable boss fight. You can see the influence of games like Chrono Trigger in WrestleQuest. There aren’t any random encounters; you can see the enemies on the screen before they approach you. Once they do, your party is transported to a wrestling ring where the real action takes place.

Combat is both very simple and needlessly complex at the same time. Even basic attacks require a timed input to do maximum damage or to avoid an occasional counterattack from the enemy, which means you can’t switch off at any point during a fight. Even the special moves, called Gimmicks, sometimes use this mechanic but will do a significant amount of damage anyway. Early fights won’t require you to use these Gimmicks very often but by the mid-game battles, you’ll find you rely on them almost entirely.

WrestleQuest Review - Screenshot 3 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Each fight features a Hype Meter, which shows who the crowd is cheering for. Gain hype and you’ll deal more damage and earn more money, but let the momentum shift to your opponent and they’ll reap those rewards instead. It is a good way to hammer home the wrestling theme even further, but it seldom becomes important enough to focus on.

The biggest downside to WrestleQuest’s combat is a lack of balance. There is a pretty significant difficulty spike around ten hours into the game that feels like it should require a touch of grinding to get through, but, because the enemies don’t respawn, you won’t have the opportunity to do so. This is particularly problematic since new characters join your party at level one and are easily overwhelmed. This makes it unlikely you’ll want to swap out your core roster of wrestlers for fresh faces, especially once you’ve built up a solid synergy of double and triple tag-team techniques.

WrestleQuest Review - Screenshot 4 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

In its effort to pay homage to old-school RPG mechanics, Mad Cat Studio doesn’t give itself the chance to make WrestleQuest something unique and special. Mid-to-late-game fights drag on far too long, with each battle becoming predictable outside of the boss fights that punctuate each story arc. The world map feels too large, requiring you to traverse big, empty areas to get to the next signposted objective on your list. Things just feel a bit barren, which doesn’t encourage you to explore for hidden gems, which is usually one of the best parts of any RPG of this type.

There are also a handful of bugs that cropped up during our playthrough, and we didn't start the game until a long-awaited launch patch was applied. The game crashed occasionally while moving to the next section of the map. Thankfully, we didn’t lose much progress but it was certainly a source of frustration. Character health bars didn’t refill during combat even when you had healed them, meaning you lost the visual cue to patch them up that every RPG has always given you. Neither of these issues were game-breaking but were certainly noticeable when they reared their heads. Hopefully they will disappear with future patches.

WrestleQuest Review - Screenshot 5 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

The result of this genre mash, then, is a flashy, competent RPG held back by some balance issues and combat that quickly becomes a slog at higher levels. If you’re a fan of both old-school wrestling and RPGs, you’ll probably find enough here to keep you going through the 30-ish hours it will take to complete WrestleQuest’s story, but otherwise it might struggle to keep you engaged.


WrestleQuest is a surprisingly wholesome game that is laser-focused on appealing to a specific demographic and will likely fail to capture the attention of anyone else. If you grew up watching the likes of Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair throw each other around the ring and you also happen to love 16-bit RPGs, you’ll probably be charmed enough to overlook the repetitive combat and empty world. We certainly fall into the target demographic here, but the concept is better than its execution.