Review: Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
With Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, Lizardcube has taken the original Master System classic developed by Whetstone and given it a completely new coat of paint. It’s also, in most aspects, a great way to bring a classic into the present day. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is still the same game it was back in 1989, it still controls just as it did before, and even the original art and music are available for anyone who’d rather experience the game as they remember.
The premise here is simple enough, Wonder Boy (or Wonder Girl if you prefer), has been cursed into a half-human/half-lizard beast by the Meka-Dragon. To undo the curse you’ll have to traverse all of Monster Land and defeat each of the curse-wielding dragons. On top of that, with each dragon defeated Wonder Boy/Girl is transformed into a new creature, these new transformations might not be the immediate desired outcome, but they do lead to all new methods of traversing the game’s world.
Lizardcube’s version of The Dragon’s Trap includes new hand drawn art as well as a re-imagined soundtrack, both of which are fantastic. If you’re not a fan of these new additions, however, the game makes it very easy to quickly switch between the retro and modern versions of both visuals and music. The switch happens in seconds and, as someone who’s not familiar with the original game, I really appreciated the ability to swap between each version with the press of a button.
The Dragon’s Trap is an accurate recreation of the original game which, for the most part, is really great. Your journey in Wonder Boy is all about exploring Monster World in each of the various cursed forms. The lizard form is able to breath fire, as a mouse, you can climb certain walls, the piranha form gives you the ability to swim, the lion is essentially a tank, and as a hawk you’ll soar through the sky. These forms break up the game well and ensures that you’ll periodically be traveling through the world in a slightly different way. They’re also great about opening up new secrets in earlier areas in the game that were previously unreachable. Things never get old and exploring is always rewarded. However, the actual movement in Wonder Boy is quite slippery and can lead to a good deal of frustration. This, combined with the continuous knock-back that can happen in certain boss fights, leads to some aggravating situations that tend to be a small blemish on an otherwise enjoyable game.
At the main menu, moving the cursor to the title of the game and selecting it will change Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap to Wonder Girl: The Dragon’s Trap. It’s a nice little touch that serves to highlight the inclusion of a playable female character in the game, which is also much appreciated. Dig deeper into the unlockables menu and you’ll find a hefty amount of concept art, animation reels, and behind the scene videos from the game’s development. It’s all rounded out into a rather nice package that ultimately demonstrates the clear love that Lizardcube has for Wonder Boy.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Updated art and music
- Easy to switch between retro and modern versions
- Every new form offers a new way to traverse the world
What I Dislike:
- Slippery controls
- The continuous knock-back in some boss encounters