Adventure Island (NES)

Adventure Island Box Art

Adventure Island

System: NES

Release Date: September 1988

Developer: Hudson Soft

Publisher: Hudson Soft

Genre: Platformer

Up next, we have Hudson’s Adventure Island! In this stunning feat of deja vu, Master Higgins is on a quest to save Princess Leilani from the Evil Witch Doctor of Adventure Island. Traverse your way through 32 rounds to defeat the island denizens and be a true hero… if you have the time and patience. I traded playing this one with my wife, because she has fond memories of it as a child, and we made it to area three in about an hour and 45 minutes.

The game is based off of Wonder Boy, which we saw a port of on Sega Master System. It plays exactly the same. Run to the right. Run into rocks and fall down. Collect fruit to keep your health bar near maximum. Get fried by fire. Crack open eggs by running into them. Get some axes and throw them at enemies. Find a skateboard and zoom past enemies and obstacles. Get killed by jumping frogs. Drink a bottle of milk to heal up. Find a hidden bonus level! Fall into pits. Swear loudly. Try again. If you want to be able to continue, make sure to find the hidden egg at the end of Area 1, Round 1 and get the Hudson Bee.

Seriously, it’s been reskinned, but it’s the same game. Master Higgins has a weird look on his face all the time. The dolls have been changed into pots and aren’t required to win the game. The devil that cracks from an egg is now an eggplant. The bosses of the areas are the same. The floaty physics are the same. The anger and frustration are the same. It’s the same game. Luckily, I won’t be able to say the same thing of the sequels.

Graphics: 1.0

The graphics are plain and not particularly good. Flickering can cause problems. Colors are drab.

Sound: 1.5

The music is average, as are the sound effects.

Gameplay: 1.5

Floaty controls lead to deaths that frustrate. Precise jumping is necessary, but not possible, so hope you’re lucky.

Difficulty: 1.5

You’ll get frustrated away before you get anywhere.

Fun Factor: 1.5

The fun I had with this one was playing with the Mrs, so this is an inflated score.

Overall Grade: 1.4

Adventure Island earns a D+. It’s not particularly good, but we had fun for a couple hours.

Adventure Island Video Review on YouTube