Wonder Boy (SMS)

Wonder Boy Box Art

Wonder Boy

System: SMS

Release Date: June 1987

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Platformer

Wonder Boy has you playing as Tom-Tom, who is on a quest to save his girlfriend, Tanya. The woodland King has stolen her and it’s up to you to traverse ten areas consisting of four rounds each. There are 14 different locations for you to play through. They are chosen at random, so you won’t have the same game twice.

One of the dolls Tom-Tom has to collect.

Tom-Tom can run and jump. During the course of each area, he will find eggs that can be cracked open. Inside them he will find one of three items, the first is a hatchet, which he will be able to throw to defeat enemies. Another he can find is an angel, who acts as an invincibility item. With her active, you can just run through the enemies on the level. Lastly, Tom-Tom can find a skateboard, which makes him move slightly quicker and doesn’t allow you to go backward.

Protected by the Angel.

Tom-Tom has a vitality bar at the top of the screen that slowly ticks down. In order to replenish it, you need to collect fruit strewn about the stage. This is also important, because if you accidentally hit a speckled egg, the God of Death will follow you, like an angel, but will drain your vitality much quicker, causing you to die.

The Woodland King will lose this head.

Tom-Tom needs to collect 36 dolls in order to progress to the end of the game. This is a long task to complete, since some of the dolls are invisible. Tom-Tom jumps with the 2 Button. He throws hatchets with the 1 Button and if you hold it down, you run. Tom-Tom is very floaty in his movement, which will cause more deaths than you will be happy about, but it is what it is. At the end of each round, you fight the Woodland King and his head flies off and changes after each defeat.

Graphics: 2.0

I think it’s colorful and mostly well animated. Other than the bats.

Sound: 2.0

The music is average, as are the sound effects.

Gameplay: 1.5

You get a lot of cheap deaths because of the controls. I would have preferred the vitality bar to act as a life bar.

Difficulty: 2.0

It’s tough, but the length of the game is going to put you off before you complete it.

Fun Factor: 1.5

Slightly less than average. I got irritated after an hour of play or so.

Overall Grade: 1.8

Wonder Boy on SMS gets a C. We’ll see if Hudson does better with Adventure Island, which is the NES port of this game.

Wonder Boy Video Review on YouTube