New Adventure Island was first released by Hudson Soft in June 1992 in Japan, for the PC Engine, and later that same year for the TurboGrafx-16 in North America. It is more or less a remake of the original Adventure Island, which in turn was a port of the Sega arcade game, Wonder Boy.
Master Higgins and Tina are leaving the church after getting married and a shadowy figure, called Baron Bronsky, kidnaps Tina and some of the island children, so your job is to rescue them.
The player controls Higgins through six scrolling stages, each with four areas (the fourth being a boss battle). In the final stage you must defeat Baron Bronsky in his fortress to rescue Tina.
Higgins can jump; throw various weapons; ride a skateboard, and can also run faster if you hold down the fire weapon button. His health is indicated by a bar at the top of the screen and this gradually depletes, making it a timer as well. To keep topping the bar up you must collect fruit as you progress. This creates a nice risk/reward element to the gameplay that hurries you along, as well as making you take extra risks to collect fruit that you otherwise might ignore.
Occasionally you’ll pass flagpoles that act as checkpoints. If you lose a life, which happens if you touch an enemy, fall into a hole, or run out of health, then you’ll re-start from the last checkpoint passed.
While it’s a little disappointing that this isn’t a port of the more interesting Adventure Island II (which was released the year before this), it is still a very good remake of Wonder Boy, with new weapons, new backdrops, new boss battles, new intermissions, and other new features that were not seen in the original.
The graphics are cute, colourful and move smoothly, and the gameplay is well-designed. Overall, New Adventure Island is a decent game on the PC Engine/Turbografx-16 and is still worth playing today.