Rock 'N Wrestle (Melbourne House) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Rock 'N Wrestle
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #29

Rock 'N Wrestle

Rock 'N Wrestle from Melbourne House, "the same people that brought you Way Of The Exploding Fist", bring you the sequel to Fist. That's a tough act to follow and Melbourne House have to be pretty confident they can deliver the goods with their wrestling game to openly invite comparisons with the award-winning Karate simulation.

Fist has already scooped the Saturday Superstore Award for best game of 1985 and is being widely tipped to sweep the board at the Computer and Video Games Magazine Golden Joystick Awards.

All of this adds up to sky high expectations on the part of gamers for Rock 'N Wrestle.

To find out if Rock 'N Wrestle really does pack the punch, Eugene Lacey went on a crash course in Rock 'N Wrestling at Melbourne House's UK office in Richmond, Surrey.

The first thing that strikes you when you wrestle with the joystick in Rock 'N Wrestle is that it is no game for lazy players.

Despite the claim in the instructions that Rock 'N Wrestle is not a "complex game to play" you are going to have to put in a lot of practice before you master the potential 26 moves.

But that should put no-one off because it is this variety of potential moves that sets the game apart from any other one-on-one combat game.

Just as in Way Of The Exploding Fist the various moves are executed by a combination of the eight possible positions on the joystick and by pressing, or not pressing, the fire button. If you total that as only sixteen potential moves you would be correct, for certain of the moves can only be implemented after other ones.

For example, you cannot attempt an Aeroplane Spin, Pile Driver or Body Slam without first executing a successful grab. Equally you cannot attempt to pin your opponent to the ground to get a pin ball without first having floored him.

The total list of moves in Rock 'N Wrestle is as follows and I am not going to tell you how to do them because I don't know (not yet, anyway) but I will describe them for you.

The Moves

  1. Aeroplane Spin
    Spin opponent above your head. Wiggling the joystick makes him spin faster, releasing fire button throws him to the canvas.
  2. Armspin
    Looks more like a Highland fling as the wrestlers spin each other round and round - the one to wiggle fastest and release the Fire button first flings his opponent into the ropes.
  3. Atomic Drop
    Grab from behind, lift in a bear hug, then slam feet-first into the canvas.
  4. Back Breaker
    Save as above only bringing other wrestler down on your knee - ouch!
  5. Turnbuckle Fly
    Most exciting move to watch. Climb to the top rope on the cornerstone and then fling yourself - bird-like - at your opponent flooring him in one.
  6. Suplex
    Standard wrestling lift and throw.
  7. Reverse Suplex
    Over the shoulder, backwards lift and throw.
  8. Stump
    Kicking your opponent whilst he's on the canvas - nasty.
  9. Body Slam
    Watch the whole ring shake as you lift your opponent high above your head and slam him into the canvas.
  10. Headlock
    Grab your opponent by the neck and squeeze.
  11. Pile Driver
    One of the most painful and effective moves in the game. Grab your opponent, lift him off the canvas, flip him over, and thrust him head first into the canvas.
  12. Clothes Line
    An extended forearm - "your opponent is hung out to dry".
  13. Flying Body Press
    Dive at your opponent's shoulders forcing him to the ground.
  14. Kick, Headbutt, Knee Drop, Knee Kick, Charge, Drop Kick and Arm Twist
    All self explanatory.
  15. Forearm Jolt
    This is a weakening blow to your opponent's head.
  16. Full Nelson
    "strength move enforced from the rear"
  17. Elbow Drop
    Lift your elbow high into the air and bring it down with force onto your opponent.
  18. Pin
    The key to victory. When your opponent is down pin him to the canvas for a count of three. Once you do this, you will go on to a new and tougher opponent.

The Wrestlers

  1. Gorgeous Greg
    That's you - the handsome, blonde, hero.
  2. Redneck McCoy
    Your first opponent and a particularly tough Southern red neck he is too.
  3. Molotov Mick
    Next up - the one-eyed, shiny headed, powerhouse who packs a mean headbutt.
  4. Angry Abdul
    You'd be angry too if you were the last in line to receive any of the family's huge oil weather. Abdul likes to cheer himself up by practising his favourite wrestling move - the Pile Driver.
  5. L. A. Bruce
    This cool customer from the West Coast looks as if he just escaped from the Village People. Wrestling speciality - the aeroplane spin. "When... I smash 'em into the canvas it's like wow man."
  6. Missouri Breaker
    This Texas cowboy has built his muscles down home on the farm and uses them to advantage which is favourite move - the body slam.
  7. Vicious Vivian
    A Tottenham fan who learned to fight on the terraces. With a hair style like Vivian's you need to be tough.
  8. Flying Eagle
    This Apache brave is a master of technique. Appropriately, his favourite move is the Turnbuckle Fly.
  9. Bad Barney Trouble
    The mystery masked man is a mean opponent. Specialises in the Clothes line, of which he says, "I love to hear them choking - it gives me a real buzz".
  10. Lord Toff
    Your final opponent and the toughest of them all. This aristocratic English gentleman knows all the moves, and executes them all with ease.


Describing the moves and the opponents only really scratches the surface of Rock 'N Wrestle.

There are bags of strategy besides. Stalking your opponent around the ring, learning to strike at just the right moment, when to use certain moves and when not to, and how and when to use the ropes.

Graphically, there are several additional frills like the camera flashes that go off when a particularly exciting move is implemented.

There is also the music - the rock referred to in the title. I noticed two different pieces as I played, though I must admit they didn't sound particularly rocky.

Compared to Way Of The Exploding Fist, the graphics do not look quite as crisp. The fact that Rock 'N Wrestle has the extra dimension of depth, i.e. you can walk behind and in front of your opponents, and the extra moves must have meant less memory was available for the animation. But this is not to say the graphics are in any way inferior. When Flying Eagle leaps from the top ropes it is one of the most exciting moves I have seen yet in any C64 game.

Like Fist, Rock 'N Wrestle takes you into a whole new era of C64 arcade games. Games that are super sophisticated, that can be played time and time again. Games that will last.

Eugene Lacey

Other Commodore 64/128 Game Reviews By Eugene Lacey

  • Bump Set Spike Front Cover
    Bump Set Spike
  • Gauntlet Front Cover
  • Geoff Capes Strongman Front Cover
    Geoff Capes Strongman
  • Que Dex Front Cover
    Que Dex
  • Barbarian Front Cover
  • Hawkeye Front Cover
  • Dynamite Dan Front Cover
    Dynamite Dan
  • Quake Minus One Front Cover
    Quake Minus One
  • Leviathan Front Cover
  • Auf Wiedersehen Monty Front Cover
    Auf Wiedersehen Monty