Super Adventure Island was the first Adventure Island game released for the Super Nintendo and was developed by Produce! and published by Hudson Soft in 1992.
In it you once again play as Master Higgins, on a mission to save his beloved Tina from an evil magician who has turned her to stone. Gameplay is similar to previous Adventure Island games, with short, timed, linear platform-based levels.
Master Higgins can choose between two different weapons: his trusty stone axe, and a boomerang; both of which are upgradeable. If you collect four weapons of the same type, this allows you throw fireballs, which are more effective and can even destroy some rocks. This fireball effect remains until you lose a life, which will happen if you touch an enemy, fall into a hole, or run out of energy (as shown by the yellow bar at the top of the screen). This energy gradually depletes over time, but can be re-filled by collecting fruit. This mechanic is present in most Adventure Island games.
Super Adventure Island features five different levels, each with four rounds, and with a boss battle at the end of the fourth round of each. There’s also a secret “Star Bonus Round” hidden somewhere in every stage. To find it you have to throw your boomerang and listen out for a “tinging” sound. If you’re able to locate it you then need to go to that spot and jump up to make a star appear. Jumping into the star will begin the bonus round. To clear a Star Bonus Round you must bounce from trampoline to trampoline, collecting bonus items, without falling. As you bounce off a trampoline, though, they will each disappear, so you only have one chance to complete the round.
Super Adventure Island is a colourful scrolling platform game with jolly music and fairly simple, but challenging, gameplay. It came out between the releases of the NES/Famicom games Adventure Island II and Adventure Island III.
The game was re-released for the Wii in 2011 and remains quite popular among those who’ve played it. I’d say that it’s a game still worth playing today, although it does lack the dinosaur companions from the NES games, which is a little disappointing.
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