Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake or HD facelift of a cult classic originally released in 1989 on Sega Master System, and then later TurboGrafx-16 and Game Gear.
In The Dragon’s Trap, you play as Wonder Boy (or Wonder Girl), who early in the game becomes cursed by the Meka Dragon and turned into a half-human half-lizard only to continue on and get transformed many times over into Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Lion-Man, Hawk-Man, each bearing new abilities!
Art director Ben Fiquet came from a background of working on comic books and animated series. So every character was hand-animated frame by frame, similar to the technique used in the upcoming XBox One game Cuphead which adopts a retro-animated look. Here’s an example showing the evolution of Lion-Man running animation:
This remaster utilized reverse engineering techniques on the old game cartridge to understand exactly how the original game was created. The team creating the remix studied how the old game stored its secrets, how it simulated its physics and collision behaviors, how it decided on random drops, along with hundreds of other details, and replicated all of it.
Best part about it? Hit one button and you can change from modern graphics to the original 1989 graphics!
The gameplay is very awesome, the 8-bit switching is super fun, and the animated backgrounds and character updates are so friggen cute and a feast for the eyes! Highly recommended.