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Release year: 1986 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Hudson Soft
Adventure Island (NES)
Adventure Island (AKA akahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima 高橋名人の冒険島 in Japan) is a 2D side-scrolling adventure platform video game developed by Hudson Soft for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1986. The game was originally an adaptation of the Wonder Boy series but its subsequent installments did not have any connection to Wonder Boy anymore.
The graphics of the game are great for an NES game. The 2D characters and backdrops are detailed and colorful. Plus, the graphics are surprisingly smooth considering most NES games suffer from slowdown and flicker.
The game’s feel-good sound tracks are also solid. They complement the tropical background of the game. Both the graphics and music contribute to the pleasant atmosphere of the game.
The gameplay of Adventure Island for the NES is actually easy since the main character, Higgins, mostly just shoots enemies and jumps over hazards. Evading bouncing enemies, hopping over bottomless pits that suddenly appear as you run forward, and cracking eggs to obtain items are pretty much the only goals in every stage.
Adventure Island has a total of 32 stages and each stage is relatively short. They just test the player’s ability to press the shoot and jump buttons with perfect timing. In every fourth stage, however, there is a boss that awaits the player at the end.
A player only has three lives for the entire game. Every time a player falls into a pit, comes into contact with an enemy, or gets hit by the boss, he loses one life. Thus, the real challenge in this game is to survive all 32 stages with the limited number of lives—which is not that easy.
Therefore, despite the laid-back atmosphere of the game, Adventure Island has tough challenges to offer. It is the platform game for players who are patient enough to start over again when they die halfway through the final stage.
Adventure Island has been ported to NES (this version), MSX, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, and Sony PlayStation 2.