|It seems like this is just a re-skinned port of Wonder Boy, with worlds 9 and 10 missing, but there are some little gameplay differences.|
- There's a hidden Hudson Bee at the end of 1-1. Jump near the left edge of the platform before the goal to make it appear. Collecting this gives you infinite continues that let you restart at the stage you died at, but only if you remember to press d-pad + start at the game over screen. If you press anything else at the game over screen, you'll go back to the title screen and will start over from the beginning of the game. This replaces the Level Select cheat in the console version of Wonder Boy
- Hidden items can be found by throwing your axe. If your axe disappears before it hits the ground, that means you can jump overtop of that spot to reveal a hidden egg (it's a bit finnicky). Hidden eggs contain items that you can't find in normal eggs, such as a powerup to turn your axe into fireballs which can break rocks/boulders, a key that can take you to a bonus stage, or rings that give you a lot of points. And if you collect 3 rings without dying you get an extra life.
- Instead of skateboards replacing axe pickups when you already have the axe, in this game axe pickups in this game are replaced by a flower item instead, and eggs containing skateboards will always contain skateboards. This makes it a bit harder since there aren't as many axe pickups, so you're often stuck without a weapon for longer periods of time.
- Dolls are replaced by pots, and they have the same effect of doubling your score at the end of the stage, but they no longer unlock anything if you collect all of them.
- In Wonder Boy, the skateboard is detrimental because of how it makes it impossible to collect some of the dolls needed to unlock the final area, but otherwise it makes getting through the game easier since it gives you an extra hit. However in this version, the skateboard is even more detrimental since it'll make it impossible to collect any hidden eggs, and those hidden eggs give you more of an advantage than the temporary extra hit that a skateboard would give you.
- Snake enemies shoot fireballs in this game, whereas in Wonder Boy they did nothing, making this game significantly harder.
- The graphics aren't as good and some enemies/obstacles kinda blend into the background in some cases... and I think the mechanics aren't as good either. I'm having a lot more trouble early on in this game than I did in Wonder Boy.
Because of these differences, I think it makes sense for this port to be considered its own game separate from Wonder Boy.
I prefer Wonder Boy over this... I got to 3-3 before forgetting to do the continue button combination and ended up back at the title screen... I find playing through this game very frustrating and not fun at all, whereas Wonder Boy was more fun somehow, despite them both having the same level design. I'm just gonna drop this version and move onto the rest of the Adventure Island series.