Adventure Island III, NES/Famicom

Developed by Now Production and published by Hudson Soft in 1992, Adventure Island III is the third outing of Master Higgins, the cave boy hero who is the star of this game and a number others, and who started out life as a port of Wonder Boy in the very first Adventure Island game.

Higgins can now crouch, which he couldn’t do before, and the useful inventory system from the second game is still present, but this time you have eight items to choose from instead of just five. The four friendly dinosaurs from Adventure Island II return, as well as a fifth new friend – The Triceratops – who can defeat enemies with a rolling attack.

Other new additions include a boomerang that can be used as an alternative weapon to Higgins’ traditional stone axe, and a crystal that provides Higgins with one hit point when he begins a stage.

There are different hidden rooms to find as well, such as a treasure room where Higgins can choose a new power-up; a surfing bonus round; a room containing a crystal (with an option to continue the level or skip it), and a room with the option of skipping a boss (which will also skip the stage), or not.

While the gameplay is not radically different to Adventure Island II, I can still see a progression in the complexity of the Adventure Island games, and the quality of the presentation seems to be gradually improving with every release.

Unlike the first two Adventure Island games this third instalment was never released in Europe, but it did at least make it to North America, which is more than the fourth Adventure Island game managed to do.

More: Adventure Island 3 on Wikipedia

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