Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap - Switch

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (Switch)
Also for: PS4
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Lizardcube Soft. Co.: DotEmu
Publishers: Merge Games (GB)
Released: 19 Apr 2018 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode


Long before Tenacious D stole the name for a dubious pop single or the word 'metroidvania' had entered into common gaming parlance, there was Wonder Boy the 8-bit hero. He captured hearts and minds with his platforming, puzzle-solving and monster-stabbing ways, spawning several sequels and spreading beyond his home base, the Sega Master System. Flash forward the best part of 30 years and the titular hero has made a great leap forward onto the current generation of games consoles in Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, a remake of the third game in the original series.

And yes, while the first Wonder Boy game predates the term 'metroidvania' by a span of decades and, in fact, the original Metroid and Castlevania games by a hair's breadth, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. That means it combines platforming and light combat with exploration to gain new powers and abilities with which to navigate the challenges ahead of you.

The developers at Lizardcube are clearly big fans of the source material. They've stuck so close to it that you can switch from the polished up HD version to the 8-bit sprites of the original at will. It's a cool feature, but you might not want to use it soo often as there's a lot to love about the art style of the up-to-date version. It brings both Wonder Boy (or Wonder Girl - you have choices) to Disney-ish life, and enriches the backdrops with a depth and believability that arguably wasn't present in the original.