A lot can change in almost 30 years of gaming, but a good platformer is forever. Initially released in 1989 for the Sega MasterSystem, Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap featured all the hallmarks of the (then) up-and-coming genre. Now, the team at Lizardcube has recreated it in painstaking detail – and while The Dragon’s Trap’s design definitely shows its age, it still has a few wonders in store for us thanks to a solid foundation, aesthetic upgrades, and some much-appreciated updates to the original programming.
Your character, the titular Wonder Boy – or, in a nice added touch of inclusiveness, Wonder Girl – is cursed by a robot dragon (because the ‘80s) and turned into a fire-breathing lizard-man/woman (again, ‘80s). To lift the curse, they’ll need to defeat more dragons to transform back into their human form and rid the land of their evil. It’s not a particularly compelling story, but given that it’s pulled from an era when “go left” was considered plot development, this bizarre backstory provides a lore-friendly excuse for the core mechanic.