The gameplay in Wonder Boy is traditional platforming fare, tasking players with navigating their way to the end of each level which would entail correctly timing jumps and either defeating enemies using throwing axes or avoiding them entirely. Wonder Boy can collect items, such as fruit, which were scattered throughout the levels to increase their score. Whilst Wonder Boy begins his journey on foot, players could often navigate them on via a skateboard, should the correct item be collected.
Adventure Island and Wonder Boy share the same engine and are essentially the same game, with minor differences. Each of these games would spin out into their own completely separate franchises.