Wonder Boy (1986)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


Wonder Boy (1986): The Pioneering Platformer That Defined a Genre

Released in 1986 by Sega, Wonder Boy is a seminal platformer that laid the groundwork for countless games to come. Developed by Escape (now known as Westone Bit Entertainment), Wonder Boy was the first in a long-running series of games that would span multiple platforms and spin-offs.


Wonder Boy is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player controls a young boy named Tom-Tom on a quest to rescue his girlfriend, Tina, from the clutches of the evil King. Tom-Tom must traverse a variety of levels, each filled with enemies, traps, and obstacles. He can attack enemies with his sword or by throwing rocks, and he can also collect power-ups to enhance his abilities.

One of the most innovative aspects of Wonder Boy’s gameplay is its transformation system. By collecting certain items, Tom-Tom can transform into different animals, each with its own unique abilities. For example, the lion can breathe fire, the mouse can fit through small holes, and the bird can fly. This transformation system adds a layer of depth and strategy to the gameplay, as players must carefully choose which animal to transform into in order to overcome each level’s challenges.

Graphics and Sound

For its time, Wonder Boy’s graphics were impressive. The game’s colorful and detailed sprites and backgrounds brought the world of Wonder Land to life. The game’s music is also noteworthy, with catchy and upbeat tunes that perfectly complement the gameplay.


Wonder Boy was a critical and commercial success, and it quickly became one of Sega’s most popular arcade games. The game’s success spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs, including Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, Wonder Boy in Monster World, and Monster World IV. The Wonder Boy series has sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and it is still considered to be one of the greatest platformer series of all time.

In addition to its sequels, Wonder Boy also inspired a number of other platformer games, including Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong Country. The game’s transformation system has also been imitated in many other games, including Metroid, Castlevania, and Mega Man.

Critical Reception

Wonder Boy was met with critical acclaim upon its release. Critics praised the game’s innovative gameplay, charming graphics, and catchy music. The game was also a commercial success, selling over 1 million copies worldwide.

Wonder Boy Today

Wonder Boy is still enjoyed by gamers today, both on its original arcade hardware and on a variety of modern platforms. The game has been ported to numerous home consoles and computers, and it is also available on mobile devices. In 2017, a remake of Wonder Boy was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.


Wonder Boy is a classic platformer that deserves its place in the pantheon of great video games. Its innovative gameplay, charming graphics, and catchy music have made it a timeless classic that is still enjoyed by gamers today. Whether you’re a fan of platformers, retro gaming, or simply great games, Wonder Boy is a must-play.

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