Top Wrestling was another fighter trying to follow in the footsteps of WWF from Ocean back in the early 90’s. This game was the Italian’s own effort, and one which was looking quite nice from Genias back in 1992.
The game was mentioned in Zzap Italia in issue 67, where developer Angelo Righi was interviewed about his projects after “Tilt”, a puzzler he had just created and had published by Genias.
Top Wrestling was to be a conversion from an Amiga game, and looks like it was shaping up well.
Angelo gave some details about the game in the interview, like that there would be 64x48px sprites, 1/50s global animated (1 frame), no scrolling (Like the Amiga version does) but a 16 colour bitmap background and 4 wrestlers from the original game (Angelo stressed that he wanted to add more).
We have grabbed the shots published in the interview, and the game was looking quite good!… We can only assume that the game was scrapped as the C64 started to die out and Genias lost their way. His later game, Smash was actually released in 1993 by Idea – but I guess they could not get the rights to release Top Wrestling.
The question is now, how far did the game get?… and does it still exist anywhere today?… Well, thanks to Roberto Nicoletti, Angelo was tracked down and had the following to say about the game:
“The game was in an early development stage at the time the pictures were published in Zzap!, a lot of things were still missing and I didn’t go any further than what was shown.
In a few months, the video games market collapsed in Italy. Italian Zzap! wasn’t any longer an autonomous magazine and was later published as supplement of TGM. The truth is that C64 market went before I had the time to complete the game.”
When asked if he still had anything of the game:
“I don’t think I still have the sources. Of course, I will send them to you if I ever find them.”
So although unfortunately the game never got much further than a slightly playable demo, there is a remote possibility that the game could be recovered by Angelo and GTW can resurrect it for the website. It’s unlikely, and could be that it is missing forever, but we hold out hope!
A great looking unfinished wrestling game, can it be saved?…
Contributions: Luca/Fire, Roberto Nicoletti (http://ready64.org