Transforming into clumsy but adorable lil’ fellows

As a boy or a girl (your choice ;)) you are able to travel through the land to defeat the dreaded dragon. Unfortunately, on your way, there are many obstacles: lots of small dragons you have to defeat first and tricky jump and run sessions.

Fighting dragons as wondergirl
Fighting dragons is the main aim 😉

The village is basically your main station where you can buy gear, potions or talk to a fortune teller if you do not know what to do next. The surroundings there look quite medieval, additionally to the items you can buy: swords, shields and armor.

The story starts for you fighting in a castle and making your way through as a mighty knight. But after fighting a dragon you become a lizard man, who can breathe fire and honestly looks much sweeter than the knight girl I was playing before.

That’s one of few main concepts of the game: You fight dragons you can gain different appearances and abilities to be able to make different levels.

And probably more important: To reach the different levels. As mentioned before the village is the main station where you start all the levels from which become reachable through your special abilities. For example, you are able to crawl up walls as a mouse or become able to dive in the water with another appearance.

Atmosphere

First of all, I have to admit that I bought the game not only but mainly because of the adorable graphics – sorry owlboy… I love the animations and how the different monsters are designed.

The attention to detail does not stop on the enemies: little snakes, crabs, bats and various more. They all look so sweet that hurting them almost hurts me – almost ;). When you fight against those little fellows they drop items like potions or special attacks or coins with which you can purchase things in the shop.

Wondermouse fighting bats
Wondermouse fighting bats

Developers also added a funny feature to the game. Due to the long history of the game, they invented the retro mode where you can play it as blocky as in the good old times. This is the first part of the series I am playing so it is not a huge approvement or feature for me, but others – more wonderboy-skilled players might want to get melancholic in this mode ;).

Lizardman in 'updated' mode
Lizardman in 'updated' mode
Lizardman in 'retro' mode
Lizardman in 'retro' mode

Starting or coming back in the village you have to search for the new episodes to play with at many points in the game (not only when you become a new creature). This was quite confusing for me sometimes because I simply didn’t get what game designers wanted me to do at some points in the game. In such situations, I prefer googling a little to get back on track…

But I have the feeling if you are a more ambitious game player and want to solve every riddle on your own (even if that’s not even a ‘real’ riddle). Those are probably the times in the game where it becomes more annoying and frustrating than fun. It might of course also be that those episodes will be your favorite part of the game 😉 I will let you decide that for yourself.

Gameplay

Wonderboy is a 2D jump and run game. The screen layout is quite common for this type of game:
On the left top, we can find the hearts we own. The number of hearts can be increased by opening treasure chests which can be found in secret places.

Facing the hearts on the top are your items which consist of potions, special attacks and coins. As well as energy you get all those things by defeating small enemies. I think almost every enemy drops some sort of those things. Leaving armor, swords and shields the only items you actually have to buy in a shop.
The other part of the screen consists of a 2d view of the game and gives you much space to see and react to the scene.

Managing your armour in Wonder Boy
Managing your armour

I for myself thought it was quite difficult to manage the different levels, especially in the beginning. First, you start with one heart as the lizard man and I didn’t want to take the time and search for more. This was also due to the fact that I actually did not know I had to search for more ;).

After wasting hours of gameplay and many of my valuable nerves I got myself the two extra hearts and it worked out. It could be that people who do not play this for the first time already know how this game works but for me, it was not clear at all… So I am telling you this – get you some extra hearts! You will need them! Otherwise, it is not fun at all! 😀

Shop for hearts in Wonder Boy
Shopping!

The different abilities of the monsters are funny and easy and straightforward to use. The one I struggled with most was probably the wall climbing of the mouse. However, you never have to actually use that in a fight which makes it quite tolerable ;).
I think the different dragons they created are awesome as well as the more regular enemies you get along. They all have at least slightly different strategies to cope with. That is not the world of a difference but makes it more diverse concerning the gameplay ;).

Fighting one of the various dragons
Fighting one of the various dragons

Finally

Story

20%

Atmosphere

40%

Gameplay

20%

There were points in the game where I didn’t actually know what to do or how to get to the next level or episode. This was quite annoying. Sometimes you lose valuable hours of time because you die and simply and are not strong or skilled enough to make a level. So I personally think if you really adore the old jump and run games you will also like this one.
For me, the game was a little too heavy to take. I do not always have time to play games frequently so I have the feeling I lose my skills too soon to play this game in a comfortable and enjoyable way. So it wasn’t much fun anymore. However, it also had some strong points like the graphics and inventive characters.

Gameover in Wonderboy
Gameover - see you soon!
Evelyn sitting
Weird Peacock

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