The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Game image The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past
Play YouTube video
Buy The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past now on Amzon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Released: November 1991. Added to this library 8 weeks ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Overview

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an adventure game in a long "Zelda" series. Like the other games, you play Link, who must defeat an evil force in the land of Hyrule. You do this by exploring the world, killing spawning enemies and finding a series of dungeons each of which pose a challenge and a puzzle solved the use of a specific new item of equipment (hook shot, boomerang, bow and arrow).

Being one of the earlier Zelda games, A Link to the Past has relatively simple top-down visuals. It was a landmark game for Nintendo and is considered to be a significant video game with more than four million copies sold. It has been re-released on a number of modern Nintendo consoles. It is also available on the Super NES Mini console.

The game has an additional puzzle as you can switch between the Light World and Dark World, which mirror each other. Each location in the Light World corresponds to a similar location in the Dark World, usually with a similar physical structure but an opposite nature. Travel between worlds allows for Link to access new areas.

There are many games in the Zelda series, each received long and focused development from Nintendo:

  • The Legend of Zelda (1986) on NES
  • The Adventure of Link (1987) on NES
  • A Link to the Past (1991) on Super NES and Gameboy Advance, then ported to Wii, Wii U and Switch (as part of Nintendo Online).
  • Link's Awakening (1993) on Gameboy then updated for Switch
  • Ocarina of Time (1998) on Nintendo 64 then updated for 3D on Nintendo 3DS
  • Link’s Awakening DX (1998) on Gameboy Colour
  • Majora's Mask (2000) on Nitendo 64 then updated to 3D on Nintendo 3DS
  • Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages (2001) on Gameboy Colour
  • Four Swords (2002) on Gamecube
  • The Wind Waker (2002) on Gamecube then updated in HD on Wii U
  • Four Swords Adventures (2004) on Gamecube
  • The Minish Cap (2004) on Gameboy Advance
  • Twilight Princess (2006) on Wii then in HD on Wii U
  • Phantom Hourglass (2007) on Nintendo DS
  • Spirit Tracks (2009) on Nintendo DS
  • Skyward Sword (2011) on Wii
  • A Link Between Worlds (2013) on Nintendo 3DS
  • Tri Force Heroes (2015) on Nintendo 3DS
  • Breath of the Wild (2017) on Switch
  • Breath of the Wild Sequel (TBA) on Switch

Tip

This game is good if you want to play BAFTA nominated games, get children reading or solve a mystery.

Commitment

Duration: This game will take between 18 hours and 25 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

Costs

Does not include in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Ratings

Rated PEGI 7 with violence.

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE.

Accessibility

System settings: Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.

The Wii has a few helpful settings, like disable rumble, but you have to use gesture controls for most games and the system menu. The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio... read more.


Content devider

Similar Games

The following games address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play after The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and also offer a range of alternatives for different age ratings.

Eastward

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Eastward is a adventure game about a miner who meets a young girl in a secret facility. Together you explore the decaying cities and discover the truth about her origins and what’s behind the creatures who are destroying everything. The narrative is...


Dicey Dungeons

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 22 hours and 28 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Dicey Dungeons is video game adventure where you build a deck of cards to represent characters, attacks and weapons. Here the novelty is that these cards combine with dice roles to determine who wins battles.


Cadence of Hyrule

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 6 hours and 8 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases.

Cadence of Hyrule is a Zelda infused version of a popular rhythm action indie game called Crypt of the NecroDancer. Like the original you go on an adventure viewed from above and progressed by moving, attacking and dodging in time with the music.


Carto

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Carto is an adventure puzzle game that is unusual in letting you rearrange the map tiles while you are playing. This enables you to access new areas of the world previously impossible to get to. This can be as simple as redirecting a river out of your...


Oceanhorn (Series)

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, iOS and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 17 hours and 20 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Oceanhorn is an adventure game series that brings Zelda-style exploration, battling and dungeon solving to non-Nintendo platforms. You play as a boy on a quest to find his lost father and defeat the living fortress, Oceanhorn. You explore dungeons,...


Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 15 hours and 17 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Blossom Tales is an adventure games where, like the Zelda series you explore an enchanted world, battle enemies and solve dungeons. It's a reimagining of the classic Zelda game, Past.


Portal Knights

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Duration: Between 27 hours and 29 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Portal Knights is an adventure set in a Minecraft-like world, but that focuses much more on role-play and characters. You still have the exploration and building elements, but also more story and monsters to take down.


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Platforms: GameCube and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Duration: Between 35 hours and 40 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...


Stardew Valley

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 51 hours and 75 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...


My Time At Portia

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Strategy

Duration: Between 60 hours and 80 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This game is set after civilization has been destroyed, and humans are emerging from underground to rebuilding society. By gathering resources, crafting and building you slowly gain the tools to collect food, store grain, chop trees and build dwellings....


Cross Code

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 40 hours and 50 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

CrossCode is a retro-inspired role-play where players control a mute character who has lost their memory called Lea. The sci-fi story contains fast-paced battles, puzzles and quests as well as a wide range of abilities and equipment to level up and...


The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 50 hours and 200 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...


Terraria

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 50 hours and 80 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 45 hours and 60 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an adventure game in the Zelda series. As with the other games, you play Link, who must prevent Hyrule from being engulfed by corruption from a parallel dimension. Unlike other Zelda games, you can take the form...


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Platforms: Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 45 hours and 60 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure game in the Zelda series. You play Link and navigate the floating island of Skyloft before diving down to the land below it. While the island locations and flight drew from Wind Waker, the combat and...


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in the following lists:

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from the:
  • The Family Games award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.

 

Get Children Reading

Image 221We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.

Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.

Image 222There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
  • Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
  • Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
  • Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
  • Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.

 
Content devider
 
Image 210 Image 187 Image 217 Thanks for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

Email a correction for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.