Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap


Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Gaming — Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap sets a new high bar for game restoration. The $30-or-less (depending on platform) game brings with it a rich legacy, based on a beloved 1989 Sega Master System title of the same name. At any point players can switch between the original 1989 Sega Master System visuals and a brand-new, beautifully animated reimagining of the game. The instant sweeping effect is also something you’ll want to spam a lot, with a dedicated R2 button placement on the PS4. This isn’t just a palette swap either or a cheap skin but an entire, inspired hand-drawn marvel.

The platforming can still feels old at times, and it hasn’t been noticeably changed when compared to the original. With 28 years of video game history between the original and this version that means the gameplay can feel dated. There’s an occasionally chunky, old-school feel, but the huge variety of environments, as well as the mechanic of a regularly changing main character, means the game still feels fresh. Collectable sub weapons also liven up the gameplay.

Wonder Boy can still be tough at times. As your character changes so can the entire feel of the game, while a lack of checkpoints did make me consider the game’s easy mode a few times. Compared to, say, Shovel Knight it could be described as dated.

But hey, as the budget/indie game space eats itself alive with countless new rogue-like titles every week, why not take a look back in time with a game that mostly holds up.