LinuxGameCast Reviews – Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Your intrepid heroes enjoy pixel good goodness, scream about slowdown, and wonder what went wrong. Wonder Boy faces the CHAIRQUISITION!

Game: Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
Webzone: Wonder_Boy_The_Dragons_Trap
Devel: Lizardcube
Engine: Reverse Engineered from the Master System version
Price: £14.99 / US$19.99 / CDN$21.99

Wazzat: Cursed into a half-human, half-lizard monstrosity by the Meka-Dragon, you are in search for a cure! The only way you can return to human form is to find the Salamander Cross, a magical item with the power to remove curses…

Mandatory Disclosure: Devs sent us keys!

CHAIR– Nooope

CHAIRCHAIR– Not sure if want


CHAIRCHAIRCHAIRCHAIR– Shutupandtakemymonies

Makes with the working


  • Seeing some chugging when there’s a bunch of sprites on the screen.
  • This affects the remastered and original.


  • This was a master system game. And now it’s a gig in size. Progress
  • Don’t disable frame lock though. Everything is tied to the frame rate


  • There’s definitely a lot of chugging at points.
  • The FerPS don’t seem to drop from 60, at least according to the overlay counter, but you can tell it’s not smooth either.
  • At first I thought it could be vsync or the frame limiter, because this game has both as separate options.
  • But regardless of whether those are enabled on disabled it doesn’t seem to help whatever is causing the frametime jank.


Shiny / Sounds


  • Playing the remastered is like watching a Disney movie.
  • Beautiful hand drawn art and wicked-fluid animations aboud.
  • I’m guessing this is what my little brain-organ was seeing vs what was being displayed on my Master System way back when.
  • But a simple press of a button will throw you face-first into the OG pixel goodness.
  • Can’t call it hipster-pixel since (minus the aspect ratio) it’s a 1:1 rectration.
  • I can take or leave the new soundtrack but like the visuals the original business is included in the box.
  • Outside of that things go bloop when you jump and bleep when you thwack.


  • I really like the feature to instantly switch between the old graphics and the new ones
  • It’s either the cheerleader effect, or it really highlights how good the new look is
  • I also like the contrast in art for the nurse and shopkeep. I want a game about the smoking pig merchant. That dude is my hero
  • The remastered music sounds great as well. The Original soundtrack isn’t bad either


  • If you hit the right trigger, you get to toggle between the old and new graphics.
  • And if I’m being perfectly honest, in a purely aesthetic way the game looks good.
  • It’s still a 2D platformer, but seeing the new vs the old is actually jarring how much better it looks.
  • The same goes for the music.
  • If you hit the left trigger, you can listen to the old chiptunes and immediately hit the trigger again because that half-a-second of the screeching load of nope was enough to make your ears bleed.
  • So, yeah. You’re going to want to stick to the new graphics and sounds.




  • The remastered version controls like delayed arse.
  • OG mode controls are spot-on.
  • This caused me to spend most of my time in HD mode but switching to OG when I needed to get good.
  • Both versions still flip out on occasion when you unlock Mouse mode and that’s something that should have at least been sorted in the remaster.


  • It controls like a master system game
  • I did notice that the insta-turns are only really possible in the classic graphics mode. Maybe it’s additional animation requiring time?
  • Either way, they’re pretty sluggish. I’m not 100% about the jump arc either


  • I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but it seems people don’t learn!
  • If you’re releasing a platformer in this day and age, you need to be absolutely fucking sure your controls are tight.
  • You need to have the absolute fundamental way with which players interact with your fucking video game down pat!
  • And you really don’t.
  • The playable characters slide around like they’re constantly on the ice level.
  • There’s this weird feeling of shit momentum whenever you try to jump, it feels absolutely horrible.




  • Sometimes being faithful to the original can be a bad thing.
  • And when we’re in the court of public option I will use this game as exhibit A.
  • When Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap was released in 1989 it was praised for colourful graphics and nonlinear gameplay.
  • It was panned for slippery controls.
  • So, what do we have in 2017?
  • A remake that is wicked-pretty but still suffers from controls that range from “slippery” to “oh, FK THIS Alt+F4”.
  • The platforming is atrocious, story is nonexistent, and the whole nonlinear gameplay was a thing back in the day used to cover up games you could 100% in under 8h and handley beat in under 5h.
  • You could get away with that in the 8-bit days but times have changed, man.
  • Like several “remasters” from DoubleFine this is the same, exact, game, with a fresh coat of paint and some new tunes.
  • If you missed the original you will be frustrated by clunky 80’s game design.
  • If you want to do a nostalgia dive with the extra pretty you will end up playing it in pixel mode so you can control the damn thing.
  • I can’t recommend spending $20 for that experience.


  • You know what? I didn’t hate it
  • I probably would have sank a good amount of time into it if I had a master system and this growing up
  • Since I didn’t, I just gotta give the first impression
  • I like the nonlinear elements, but this is pretty much designed as a master system game, with all the limitations therein
  • The level designs aren’t all that impressive. Everything seems to be chopped up into these “challenge screens”, kinda like long megaman levels
  • If you’re particularly bad, you can grind for coins which you can spend on gear which lets you deal more or take less damage. It helps a little
  • The main thing that honestly holds this game back is the controls. If they didn’t suck, this might be slightly more palatable


  • Everything beyond the 10 minute mark and tutorial “boss” “fight” was me forcing myself to play this game.
  • I tried to make it to the two hour mark. I couldn’t.
  • I was so fucking tired of dying because the character failed a jump or one of the enemy things does one of those fucking jumps with a weird arc, which no matter how many times you see and die to it, you still can’t accurately predict where they’re going to land.
  • And the moment you think you’re getting the hang of a character and you beat a boss, all that muscle memory goes to shit because you will be “cursed” and transformed into a different character.
  • I thought with Mighty No. 9 I’d be so jaded that even shitty platformers would get a pass because there’s no way they ever be that bad!
  • Thankfully, this is not the case. Wonder boy is not Mighty No. 9 bad, but it’s also not good.
  • It feels horrible to play and while I am still very much opposed to the nostalgia fuel which keeps making games like this happen, I am willing to admit to liking some platformers which came out in the past few years.
  • From Salt & Sanctuary to Hollow Knight, with some Owlboy down the middle, I am capable of enjoying platformers.
  • I just hate Wonder Boy’s type of poorly executed, horrible to control, nostalgia ridden platformers.




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