Adventure Island II

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Adventure Island II elevates its NES platforming legacy with forgiving gameplay, diverse levels, innovative power-ups, and dinosaur mounts for a thrilling and varied adventure

Adventure Island II, the sequel to the original Adventure Island, isn’t just a game; it’s the epitome of what sequels should aspire to be. It retains the essence of its predecessor while introducing a plethora of enhancements and features that elevate the gaming experience to new heights. In this comprehensive review, we will embark on a journey through the evolution of Adventure Island, exploring the nuanced gameplay, the vibrant worlds awaiting exploration, the strategic depth added by new power-ups, the exhilarating experience of riding dinosaur mounts, the revamped boss battles, and the indelible mark this game leaves on the NES platform.

From Humble Beginnings

Adventure Island II’s roots trace back to a port of another game, Wonder Boy. However, its success laid the foundation for Hudson Soft to create something truly original. Unlike the original Adventure Island, known for its unforgiving difficulty, Adventure Island II emerges as a beacon of balanced gameplay. It maintains the solid mechanics of its predecessor but introduces a more forgiving challenge, enriched level design, captivating power-ups, and subtle yet impactful enhancements to graphics and music. It transforms from a novelty of difficulty to a game celebrated for its quality and enjoyment.

Adventure Island II (NES gallery 01)

Gameplay Evolution: A Leap Towards Forgiveness

At its core, Adventure Island II retains the fundamental mechanics that fans loved: running, jumping, cracking open eggs, and confronting adversaries with a variety of weapons. Yet, it feels as if Master Higgins ventures into a less perilous island this time around. The game strips away the frustration of unexpected enemy ambushes and cheap pitfalls, opting instead for a challenge that feels fair and reliant on the player’s skill and decision-making. With shorter levels, more generous health restoration from food, and strategic warp points to bypass entire worlds, the game strikes an exquisite balance between challenge and accessibility.

Diverse Worlds Awaiting Exploration

The sequel impressively expands the universe of Adventure Island across 8 unique worlds, each comprising 8 levels filled with diverse ecosystems—from verdant grasslands to scorching lava pits and underwater sanctuaries. This variety not only enriches the visual and gameplay experience but also introduces new strategies and obstacles, keeping the adventure fresh and engaging from start to finish.

Strategic Depth with Power-Ups

One of the game’s standout features is the ability to save power-ups, allowing players to approach levels with a newfound strategic depth. Deciding when to deploy these power-ups or save them for critical moments adds a layer of tactical planning previously unseen, enhancing the overall experience and adding to the game’s replayability.

The Thrill of Dinosaur Mounts

Adventure Island II introduces an exhilarating feature: dinosaur mounts. These prehistoric companions not only serve as powerful allies but also introduce unique gameplay dynamics. Whether it’s the swift purple theropod, the fireball-spitting red variant, the soaring pterosaur, or the aquatic plesiosaur, each mount offers distinct advantages and challenges, enriching the gameplay and providing players with memorable moments.

Revamped Boss Battles

The boss battles in Adventure Island II are a significant upgrade from its predecessor. Each encounter features unique patterns and strategies, set against creatively designed backdrops that add depth and excitement to these climactic moments. These battles test players’ skills and strategies, making each victory a satisfying achievement.

The Legacy of Adventure Island II

Adventure Island II stands as a testament to how sequels can enhance and expand upon the foundations laid by their predecessors. It maintains the core essence that made the original game appealing while introducing meaningful improvements that create a richer, more enjoyable gaming experience. Its balanced gameplay, diverse levels, strategic depth, and memorable moments solidify its place as a classic title in the NES library.


Adventure Island II is not just a game; it’s an evolution of an idea, a testament to the potential of sequels to outshine their originals. With its refined gameplay, enhanced level design, strategic power-up system, and the introduction of dinosaur mounts, it offers a compelling and enjoyable experience that stands the test of time. It’s a game that captures the essence of adventure and challenges, making it a must-play for any NES enthusiast.

Adventure Island II (NES gallery 04)

Play Adventure Island II Online Anywhere, Anytime

Whether you’re at home or on the go, Adventure Island II offers the flexibility to dive into its enchanting world. Available on both desktop and mobile devices, you can embark on Master Higgins’ adventure whenever the mood strikes, ensuring that the thrill of exploration and the joy of overcoming challenges are never more than a few clicks away.

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What makes Adventure Island II different from its predecessor?

Adventure Island II retains the core gameplay mechanics of the original but introduces several key enhancements. These include more forgiving gameplay, a variety of interesting levels, new power-ups, and improvements in graphics and music. The sequel offers a more balanced challenge, making it not just playable, but enjoyable for its quality.

How does the gameplay in Adventure Island II ensure a fair challenge?

The game reduces frustration by eliminating unexpected enemy ambushes and pitfalls, making challenges more about player skill than memorization. Levels are shorter, health restoration is more generous, and there are strategic warp points to bypass entire worlds, all contributing to a fairer and more enjoyable experience.

What kind of diversity can players expect in Adventure Island II’s levels?

Players will explore 8 unique worlds, each consisting of 8 levels with varied environments such as grasslands, lava pits, underwater sections, and more. This diversity not only keeps the gameplay engaging but also introduces new strategies and challenges.

How do power-ups and dinosaur mounts enhance the gameplay?

Power-ups can now be saved and strategically used, adding depth to the gameplay. Dinosaur mounts offer unique advantages and introduce new gameplay dynamics, from the swift-running purple theropod to the fireball-spitting red variant, the flying pterosaur, and the aquatic plesiosaur, making the adventure more thrilling.

Are the boss battles in Adventure Island II challenging?

The boss battles have been revamped, featuring unique patterns and set in creatively designed arenas that add excitement. While the bosses add more tension to battles, they are not overly difficult, making each victory satisfying without being frustrating.