WWF WrestleMania (named after the annual pay-per-view event) is an NES game created by Rare and published by Acclaim Entertainment in 1988. It was the first WWF licensed NES game, meaning it features actual WWF wrestlers as opposed to fictional characters like previous wrestling games. WrestleMania also marked the beginning of a long relationship between Acclaim and the WWF which lasted twelve years.
The game features six wrestlers: Hulk Hogan, André the Giant, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, The Honky Tonk Man, Bam Bam Bigelow, and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.
All wrestlers possess a limited amount of moves, which comprise of basic standing punches and kicks, headbutts, a running attack, a move off the turnbuckle (which André the Giant and Bam Bam Bigelow cannot perform), and a bodyslam (which Bam Bam Bigelow and Honky Tonk Man cannot perform). All wrestlers also possess a "back attack" that they can use on an opponent standing behind them (usually a backwards punch). The moves themselves are somewhat tailored to each wrestler (Randy Savage, for example, uses elbow smashes instead of punches, while Bam Bam Bigelow has two running attacks instead of one). It is also worth noting that only Hulk Hogan is able to bodyslam the massive André the Giant. The wrestlers cannot leave the ring and can only execute turnbuckle attacks from the bottom two corners. Sometimes, while a wrestler is taking punishment, he will turn red, indicating anger. An "angry" wrestler can inflict more damage than normal while in this state. Occasionally, during a match, an icon will come on screen that a wrestler can pick up to gain health. The icons are unique to each wrestler (for example, Honky Tonk Man's looks like a guitar, while Hulk Hogan's looks like a crucifix) and cannot be used interchangeably (wrestlers can only pick up their own icons).
Players can either play a single exhibition match (one player versus the computer or two players head-to-head) or a tournament. In a single player tournament, the player chooses one wrestler and must defeat the other five in a series of matches to win the championship. In a tournament with two or more player-controlled wrestlers (up to six can play), each wrestler faces every other wrestler once (fifteen total matches). At the end of the tournament, the wrestler with the best record wins the championship. In the event of a tie, the wrestler in the tie who achieved the single fastest victory during the tournament will be declared the winner.
In Popular Culture
A scene in the 2008 film The Wrestler features a fictional NES game entitled Wrestle Jam '88. The fully functioning demo features a style inspired by WWF WresleMania.
Source: Wikipedia, "WWF WrestleMania (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.