Written by Mel Portolesi
Wonder Boy…another title that brings back fond memories from my childhood. Like many other 2D platformers of its time, Wonder Boy revolves around a male superhero off to rescue his girl who has been kidnapped by some evil tyrant.
On his mission to rescue Tanya, Tom-Tom must explore a variety of terrains including deep forests, vast oceans, icy glaciers, and deep caverns to name a few.
Throughout his journey Tom-Tom encounters two types of eggs. The white eggs contain useful items including the hatchet, vitality restoring milk, and skateboard. Watch out for the speckled ones though, they contain The God of Death, an evil leach which sucks you of your vitality and will to live!
Speaking of vitality, keep an eye on Tom-Tom’s vitality meter as you will lose a life should this become depleted. The best way to keep Tom-Tom’s health up is to savour the fruits on offer including apples, bananas, tomatoes and melons!
One feature of the game is the doll that can be found in each and every round. You will need to collect all 36 of these to access the 10th and final area. These are either visible, or invisible and tucked away behind a rock.
Also be on the look out for strange objects such as handbags, sunglasses, and teddy bears. Pick up one of these and be warped to the Bonus stage. Here you will be able to replenish your vitality by collecting love hearts.
Defeating area bosses is quite an easy task, simply dodge the fireballs and deliver multiple blows to the head with your hatchet. As the game progresses the bosses do take a little longer to conquer, but the mode of attack does not change.
My main criticism of the game is that a few aspects, namely the key ones that I believe to make or break the game, are highly repetitive. First off are the graphics. Wonder Boy is a little disappointing in this area because although there are various terrains to explore, these are recycled throughout the entire game! Don’t get me wrong, the graphics are great to look at but there is a distinct lack of variety. The soundtrack albeit catchy to begin, is also stuck on repeat for the entire game, with a brief respite while fighting area bosses.
Criticism aside, Wonder Boy does make for leisurely game play and in reality is quite simple to complete. This is assisted by an unlimited continue function. However the lack of any kind of save or password feature means the whole game must be completed in one sitting…or if you are like us, we would leave the console on for days!