Never thought we’d be seeing another one of these games. Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze is a spiritual successor to the classic Wonder Boy and Monster World franchises and all of their convoluted history. This newest game only piles on to the complication! But first, a brief history lesson.
Back in the early days of SEGA, Hudson, and the intermingling of Japanese game development, one of the more influential video game franchises on the market was the Wonder Boy series. Both SEGA and Hudson claimed rights to the original arcade classic, and both took their contributions to establish two separate franchises. Hudson transformed it into the brutally hard action platformer series Adventure Island starring Mr. Higgins.
SEGA retained the game’s original studio and creator, Ryuichi Nishizawa, who wanted to approach Wonder Boy more like an RPG rather than a purely action experience. His creation eventually evolved into one of the first side scrolling action games to incorporate RPG elements, and this idea gave birth to the Monster World franchise. Now you can see where the “Monster” and “Boy” halves of the title come into play.
Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze developer Game Atelier originally pitched the game on Kickstarter as Flying Hamster II, but it canceled the campaign once it was picked up by publisher FDG Entertainment and none other than Nishizawa himself. While SEGA owns the original Monster World brand name, Game Atelier insists that Nishizawa has given them the go ahead to include this entry in the game’s official canon.