Micro-League Wrestling

Reviewed by Ron Stewart


Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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The American company MicroLeague, who gave us sports fans the superb 'MicroLeague Baseball' have entered the sports market again. This time they have released 'MicroLeague Wrestling'. The Americans have a tendency to assume that if someone is a champion in their country they are a world champion. ML Wrestling is endorsed by the World Wrestling Federation and it features 'World Champion' Hulk Hogan. Believe me, this is very much an American product!

Initially you are given a choice of opponents. Hulk Hogan can wrestle either Randy 'Macho Man' Savage or Paul 'Mr. Wonderful' Orndorff. You are then treated to a ringside interview with both the wrestlers. This is conducted by a TV anchorman and each interview is supposed to come out differently, trouble is all three wrestlers make Frank Bruno look like John Geilgud!

Onto the match. The top of the screen is given over to an area which contains digitized pictures of the action. On either side of the picture are eleven possible holds or moves for each wrestler. The game play consists basically of selecting a move for your wrestler with the computer or a friend selecting the move for your opponent. The computer then decides whose move actually took place and you are then treated to a picture of the action. This gives a semi-animated appearance to the play, rather like the old fashioned flick cards or the 'What the Butler saw' machines at the sea side. Each successful move increases your power and inflicts damage on your opponent. Both the power and damage levels are shown on the screen.


While all this is going on a ring side commentary is being kept up by two TV announcers. This, like the interview at the beginning is just text on screen stuff. Neither of them are Kent Walton and if you haven't been to the States it will not mean a lot.

Back to the bout. There are eleven moves to choose from. Five of them are considered basic, four are major and there is also a super move and a defensive block. Your wrestler obviously has a better percentage chance of making a basic move than a major move. The problem is that basic moves do not inflict much damage on your opponent. Once you have racked up a bit of damage and power then you can try your super move. Each wrestler has one of these favourite moves. If successful, and the percentages are heavily against it, you will inflict serious damage or even get a pin or knockout. Your chances of being successful in a hold can be gauged by the relative dominance meter on the screen. You can also try a bit of nastiness. If you are lagging behind and the end of the bout is in sight then cheating can be your only way to get a win. For instance, Orndorffs' manager will try to hit the Hulk over the head with his stool. Beware, because actions like this can get you disqualified.

An unusual program then. It is more of a strategy game than a joystick waggling contest. The screen display is unique. Seeing your moves enacted by the actual wrestlers is fun. The problem is that the game relies heavily on personalities and unless you know the American wrestling scene the game looses that little something. The sound does not come up to par. Applause from the crowd is just the usual static like noise. Not a sign of digital speech anywhere.

MicroLeague Wrestling would appear to have limited appeal unless you are an avid wrestling fan.