Wonder Boy, was the first in the long-running Wonder Boy series and was followed up by five sequels, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV.
The goal of the game is for you to guide Wonder Boy (a boy named Tom-Tom) to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend Tanya from the evil King in the Woodland Kingdom throughout 9 levels consisting of four stages and a Level Boss (note that Wonder Boy for arcades had seven areas!). The journey is tough though, as too many nasties (such as evil snails!) are willing to take you down by decreasing your precious health (depicted with a bar). Fortunately, your energy bar can be refilled by collecting fruit throughout the levels.
The little boy can defend himself with a stone hatchet, which he can throw at oncoming nasties, a skateboard with which he can rush through the levels and survive one attack by an enemy, and temporary protection by an angel which allows him to destroy foes by simply running into them. In order to acquire those power-ups, you must break some eggs found during your way. But be noted: these eggs can also contain unpleasant surprises which cause him to lose energy more quickly than usual, and poisonous mushrooms which takes you out instantly!
Gameplay is always from left-to-right, with some vertical movement (i.e. jumping on ground platforms or little moving clouds). Note that, the controls here were modified slightly to make it possible to only perform a high jump when the run button was pressed, whereas it was possible in the arcade version to perform one simply by being in motion when jump was pressed.
The version of Wonder Boy for the Master System and Game Gear was a direct port of the arcade title, with some minor reductions to accommodate the more limited hardware. Most of the level graphics details were lifted straight from the arcade version. Sprites are cartoonish and move pretty fast and smooth on screen especially the little Tom-Tom) as there is no way of parallax scrolling or any other hardware intensive technique here.
The sound was also modified slightly to adapt it to the more limited audio hardware. It offers several in-game tunes along with some SFX, but nothing special about it here.