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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Series) Review

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Posted: 11 days ago, last updated 3 days ago.

Author: Ben Kendall and @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is an adventure-puzzle game in the Zelda series and universe. A remake of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same name, this one is set on Koholint Island and follows Link after he is stranded and must find a way back to the land of Hyrule. Its unique combination of puzzles and combat and exploration, together with a surprisingly deep story make it an intriguing game to play.

Link's Awakening's unique cartoon art style paired with the shallow depth-of-field effect make playing the game feel like playing with physical toys and is a noticeable departure from other Zelda games such as Breath of the Wild. You traverse through the open world and battle enemies using your sword and protect yourself with your armour, as well as completing the sometimes quite difficult puzzle-based dungeons which can be based on colour puzzles, locating keys and much more.

You can throw heavy objects like bounders to clear your path, grapple across gorges and dash into enemies to defeat them, and you can find and upgrade your gear as you go. Using your abilities, you explore the island on a quest to collect eight instruments and awaken the island's legendary Wind Fish in order to escape. Unlike many other Zelda games, Link can also jump and there are also several platforming sections in the game.

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 and Gamecube then in HD on Wii U
  • Phantom Hourglass (2007) on Nintendo DS
  • Spirit Tracks (2009) on Nintendo DS
  • Skyward Sword (2011) on Wii, Wii U and Switch
  • 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

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1999, updated in 2019

Platforms: Switch

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

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 13 hours and 18 hours to complete. Some of the missions, like delivering a long series of items to different people, can take a long time to figure out unless you use a guide.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

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

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 7 for Violence. This game has received a PEGI 7 because it features non-realistic violence in a child-friendly setting or context and violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to fantasy or mythical beings and creatures. Not suitable for persons under 7 of age.This game features combat between a human protagonist and fantasy monsters, but the visual style of this game makes the violence found in combat less disturbing. The violence and reactions to it are unrealistic and comical.

Rated ESRB EVERYONE for Mild Fantasy Violence. Players use a sword, arrows, and magic attacks to strike enemies (e.g., turtles, slimes, bats, birds) that usually burst into clouds of smoke when defeated.


Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 8-12 year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity.

AccessibilityAccessibility

There are two difficulty options that can be selected: Normal and Hero. Hero difficulty doubles the incoming damage and reduces the ways to heal your character. Keep in mind that you can only change the difficulty at the start of the paythrough file (of which you can have 4 at a time).

The text throughout the game is rather large and of high contrast to the background, and any text that occurs during gameplay is placed on a grey background to make it easier to read.

Although the game is bright and colourful, there is a very shallow depth of field that might be disorienting for some players and in addition some of the puzzles are based around colour, which should be kept in mind for colourblind players.
 
Our The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Accessibility Report details 18 accessibility features:


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