Everyone who grew up playing arcade games or Sega consoles in the late 1980s, early 90s should be familiar with Wonder Boy – the skateboarding caveman that evolved into a shapeshifting knight in the later entries. The last game in the series was Monster World IV released in 1994. 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the beloved series, and we are being treated to two new entries.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a spiritual successor to Wonder boy and a colourful, action-packed side-scroller developed by Atelier Games with input from the series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa. Atelier Games also gained the license to use the whole library of characters, graphics assets, sounds, and music from the entire Wonder Boy series.
Inspired by the mechanics of Wonder Boy III, your character can transform into six different animal forms to solve puzzles and proceed through the open game world in classic Metroidvania style. Each animal will have unique abilities and once unlocked, you can hot-swap to them at any time. Monster Boy can be upgraded with better weapons and outfits plus many of the weapons can be upgraded too.
The first playable demo was at Gamescom this past week where the audience was treated to fifteen minutes of diverse gameplay. Atelier Games stated they are targeting 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is the second game in the Wonder Boy renaissance as a remake of Wonder Boy The Dragon’s Trap is in development at Lizardcube. Monster Boy doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is expected later this year. The game will be released on PC, PS4, Xbox One and a Nintendo console although Atelier Games has not specified which one.
With Sonic Mania in development along with two Wonder Boy games, It’s a great time to be a Sega fanboy.
Michael Vane is a freelance journalist, Sega Fanboy and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane