The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

a game by Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 9.5/10 - 4 votes
Rate this game:
See also: Zelda Games, The Legend of Zelda Series
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

You only need to glance at the box to know that finally, after four years, a true work of brilliance in the action/RPG genre has arrived for the Game Boy. Sold in traditional gold packaging, Zelda: Link's Awakening packs more action, adventure, and fantasy into a hand-held game than you ever thought possible.

The Missing Link

Link's Awakening features the best elements of its SNES cousin, including surprisingly sharp graphics and sounds, a huge quest, and even more moves and items for our hero to use! This monumental adventure begins when Link's ship is smashed in the high seas and he washes ashore on Koholint Island. Though this tiny kingdom isn't even in the same time zone as Hyrule, for some inexplicable reason all the familiar enemies are prowling the countryside, making life miserable for the villagers. Link's only clue to Koholint's problems is a woodsy Owl, who becomes Link's companion on his quest to awaken the Wind Fish and get the heck off the island!

Zeida afficionados might worry about how the small screen might butcher their hero. Fear not. The visuals are stunning from start to finish, from the cool opening sequence to the well-animated hero. The 3/4 overhead-view action is so faithful to the original, there should be a wedding ring grafted to the cart. There's even a new side-view Mario-style sequence when Link explores secret passages.

Legendary Sounds and Music

Though the tunes have their roots in the six-year-old original Zelda, you won't object. The musical scores are great by CB standards! Music is an important thematic element throughout the game, from the Zelda-look-alike girl who sings you a mysterious song to the eight musical instruments you must retrieve from the dungeons to awaken the Wind Fish.

Fantastical Journey

Game play is heavy on action and puzzles, and light on role-playing. Link can build up his character with items, money, health points, and weapons, but the meat of the game is solving the myriad mysteries by using the right item in the right place.

Link can find and use all sorts of wondrous tools, including a new button-activated Shield, the classic Fire Rod, Bombs that blow holes in caves, and the new Roc's Feather for jumping! You'll spend a lot of time swapping back and forth between items on a soon-overloaded inventory screen. Fortunately, this is the only frustrating aspect of the otherwise perfectly crafted controls.

The game, at first, seems like a beginner's guide to Zelda, including a new auto-mapping feature and a library that provides info on the entire world even before you've explored it. Looks can be deceiving, though, because this is one of the most challenging Zeldas yet! The massive overworld and nine dungeons will keep you occupied for several days if you're a Zelda master, and more than week if you're an intermediate.

Invest in Gold

Zelda is a wake-up call for gamers about to drowse off behind the controls of their portable. The Game Boy might be depicted as a toilet bowl by television commercials, but this cart makes other systems look like latrines.

ProTips:

  • If you meet a familiar enemy, use a familiar tactic! Stomp the Goombas to win hearts. Press against the pipes to make the Piranha plants go away.
  • To get the Yoshi Doll in the Village Shop, stop the Crane about an Inch above Yoshi's back.
  • When you reach the Owl In the big Reid of bushes, dig to Rnd the Slime Key.
  • Once you have the Power Bracelet, backtrack to locations blocked by pots.
  • Bring the Toadstool to the Witch and she'll make Magic Powder. Use the Powder to light up Level 2. Also try sprinkling It on the Raccoon.
  • You'll need both the Roc's Feather and the Pegasus Boots to make it over this gigantic Level 3 pit.
  • Charge your Sword to use the Whirling Blade Technique, then walk Into enemies to easily do full damage.
  • Hit Auto-Bombs when the timer Is at one and the Bombs begin to Rash. This will knock them back and they'll detonate harmlessly.
  • To beat the Level 3 Eyeball Boss, dash and slash to break It Into two eyes. Then pound away on each Individual eye. Be nimble on your feet, though, when they try to stomp you.
  • Hold down the Shield button to plow through enemies and push them Into pits. You'll need to use this trick to recover your Sword on the beach.

Download The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Nintendo Switch

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Gameboy

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

I played the heck out of the Game Boy Color DX version of this game back in the day. So, I was very excited to see what the Nintendo Switch would do to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. This is a game that most people love and seeing it get modernized is pretty awesome.

We Are Not In Hyrule Any More!

One of the first things to note is the story. Gone is Hyrule, gone is Princess Zelda and gone is the Triforce! Instead, Link “awakens” after being shipwrecked on a strange island called, Koholint Island. Link finds out about an entity called The Wind Fish and how this could be his key home. The story though is not as it seems and something I really enjoyed. However, I do feel they could have changed it a bit.

New, Modern, But Also Classic

The presentation is something I love. Link looks super cute as does the whole game and it is a very interesting art style. It looks like what would happen if you took Link Between Worlds art style and mix it with a little bit of the Lego games and Minecraft. It looks very polished and this “frame drop” issue that people were crying about is nowhere near as bad as made out.

This is a classic Zelda adventure through and through. You will talk to people, find items, explore dungeons, use items to defeat bosses and so on. It does it all with such charm that you will have a smile on your face the whole time you play it. It is one of the shorter and easier Zelda games, but it is still a great deal of fun.

More Bang For Your Rupee

One way that Nintendo has extended the game is by having more things for you to collect. The most awesome things to collect are the Nintendo centric items such as the Yoshi doll you get early in the game. However, there are more seashells and heart pieces to collect than there were in the original version of the game.

You also have some mini-games that are way more addictive than you would think. The crane mini-game you encounter early on had me farming rupees and then keep going in for one more go! The fishing game is improved from the original and this is another way that the game can suck up your time. These are fun and welcome distractions that are very well done.

Another way that you get more out of the game in addition to the mini-games and the collecting aspect is the side quests. These are fun to do and it makes talking to everyone you come across worthwhile. Oh, pro tip here, do not steal from a shop! It may seem cool and funny, but you pay for it in the end.

I think that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a fantastic remake of an already very good game. I get the visual style may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, this is a classic Zelda adventure in every sense of the word and it is another great game for you to add to your Nintendo Switch library.

9/10

Pros:

  • I love the cute art style of the game
  • The game is just a lot of fun to play
  • Plenty more things to collect
  • I really love some of the dungeons and bosses
  • Some fun Nintendo collectibles

Cons:

  • The cute art style will not appeal to everyone
  • They could have made the game a bit longer

Ready for a big addition to the big, big Zelda series? Link's back, along with a host of characters (both new and old), and he's ready for a fresh adventure. You'll have to surmount obstacles as you make your way through the dungeons of the largest Game Boy map ever made. At four megs, this cart is as large as its Super Nintendo counterpart.

Everyone's been waiting for the hand-held version of the Link saga, and it looks like it was worth the wait. This little cart packs the best elements of the original Zelda sagas into 4 megs of Game Boy fantasy adventure. Do it for Zelda.

The epic Zelda saga continues with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. This GameBoy followup of the popular Nintendo series promises to be the greatest handheld adventure game ever!

Link must converse with villagers, find secret passages and use every weapon at his disposal. Prepare for great pocket-sized adventure with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the GameBoy, coming in June!

Snapshots and Media

GameBoy Screenshots

Nintendo Switch Screenshots

Similar Games

Viewing games 1 to 10