Wonder Boy Returns Remix (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gabriel Jones 16.08.2019

Review for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PlayStation 4

An evil wizard is threatening the land! It's up to TomTom or Tanya to save the day. That's all of the plot you'll ever need for Wonder Boy Returns Remix. In this throwback to the arcade classic, our heroes must endure 32 stages of side-scrolling action. Whether it's jumping across bottom-less pits, clobbering baddies, or staving off their voracious appetites, every moment is a challenge to overcome.

For Wonder Boy Returns Remix, the developer wisely chose to stick to conventions and deliver a straightforward update to the classic formula. Anybody who has grown up with Wonder Boy and the Adventure Island series will be able to jump into this immediately. The goal of each stage is to reach the end, while taking care of one's own wellbeing. Survival is relatively easy, thanks to the simplistic controls and solid mechanics. Much like the earliest platformers, TomTom & Tanya's quest is a strictly "left-to-right" affair, and there's no backtracking whatsoever. Several varieties of food are hidden throughout each stage. They're uncovered by jumping in the right spot, or through other methods. Be sure to grab these snacks whenever they appear, because they keep the time-meter filled. In this world, an empty stomach is as dangerous as fire or rampaging goblins.

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PlayStation 4

After grabbing the requisite power-up, TomTom can chuck hammers at enemies. Holding down the fire button will boost his running speed, and charge up a massive attack. Once charged, the hero can throw a giant hammer, which is strong enough to destroy rocks. Also, bonus points are awarded, when this large projectile smashes multiple foes at the same time. Tanya flings boomerangs, which predictably return after traveling a short distance. Otherwise, the differences between hero and heroine are all cosmetic.

The three modes of play are designed to appeal to all ages and skill-levels. During practice mode, a fairy follows the protagonist through every stage, ensuring that no harm befalls them. Mind the bottom-less pits and water though, because they're still quite fatal. Normal mode offers a level of difficulty reminiscent of the earliest games, but with more modern conveniences. Progress is saved upon the completion of every stage, and you're free to retry completed stages for a higher score. One Coin mode eschews the conveniences in favour of an extra challenge. The player must complete all 32 stages with just ten lives. If they fail, then it's back to the very beginning.

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PlayStation 4

Once you get past the fancy high-definition graphics and the crystal-clear stereo sound, you'll discover that Wonder Boy Returns Remix is a fitting tribute to yesteryear's classics. Depending on your tastes, this might be a bad thing. Both TomTom and Tanya have a slight bit of momentum in their step. If you're not careful, they'll slide off of ledges and to their deaths. Thankfully, jumping doesn't require a lot of finesse. There aren't any narrow platforms that require pixel-perfect leaps. Even accounting for the steadily-draining time-meter, you have plenty of time to plan out jumps. Just be mindful that not all platforms will support the weight of whoever is standing on them.

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PlayStation 4

The enemies also behave according to old-school expectations. All of the enemies are content with standing in the player's way, or moving in a predetermined pattern. Bats will always swoop down from the ceiling and fly straight ahead. Hornets are slightly erratic in their movement, but still predictable. If you manage to jump over a frog, they aren't going to follow you. The boss at the end of every fourth stage changes heads as often as the average person changes socks. However, like Bowser in Super Mario Bros., he doesn't do much aside from periodical fireball-throwing.

Even when accounting for these quirks, the game still provides plenty of fun. Mastering each stage requires a fair amount of skill, especially if one is shooting for the high score. There's joy to be had in uncovering the secret bonus items, and skilfully navigating through scores of obstacles, all while riding a skateboard. The added features, including the ability to throw giant weapons, add a slight touch of dimension to this side-scroller. It would have been nice to have online leaderboards, especially for One Coin mode. At least the PS4 version offers a platinum trophy, for anyone out there who likes to hunt for them.

Screenshot for Wonder Boy Returns Remix on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


In short, Wonder Boy Returns Remix accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. This is a remarkable update to the '80s classic. The controls might take a minute to adjust to. Thankfully, the level-design clearly accommodates for them. Each of the 32 stages is filled with secrets and scoring opportunities, so there's plenty of replay-value. If you're a fan of old-school platformers, or just insatiably curious, considering giving it a shot.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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