Review – Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX

I’ve said it before that I love this ever increasing trend of classic Sega franchises being developed and published under license by other studios and publishers. It keeps them fresh in the public’s mindset, while letting Sega do more Yakuzas or whatever else they feel is more financially relevant. A win-win, so to speak. After Streets of Rage, Wonder Boy, and Panzer Dragoon, it was just but a matter of time until someone decided to bring Alex Kidd back in some way shape or form. I can’t thank Merge Games and Jankenteam enough for Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX. Despite its handful of flaws, it was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX Master System

The first level with the Master System filter turned on…

A lot of people in America might not know or care about Alex Kidd, but in some other markets this little monkey boy is a big deal. He was Sega’s original mascot before Sonic, the protagonist of Alex Kidd in Miracle World, a 1986 platformer released for the Sega Master System meant to compete with none other than Mario himself. The Master System may have flopped miserably in the US, but in markets such as Brazil, my home country, the console actually prevailed over the NES by a large margin.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX Remaster

… and the same level with remastered visuals. Welcome to the 21st century, Alex!

In fact, the Master System is so popular in Brazil that it is still manufactured and sold under license. Meaning that you can walk into a gaming store and leave with an Xbox Series S and an 8-bit console manufactured this year in the same bag. This was everyone’s childhood, not the SNES. And Alex Kidd was one of the main stars of the system, if not the most iconic character for an entire generation of gamers, as big as the Italian plumber himself. For us, an Alex Kidd remake means that basically half of the country’s childhood is being brought back to life with brand new graphics and sound. What a time to be alive!

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX Bike

Alex rides the single slowest motorbike in gaming history.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX follows the same trend created by Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. By all intents and purposes, it’s the same game released in 1986, but with a brand new coat of paint. You can alternate between brand new graphics and the old 8-bit visuals with the press of a button. The same applies to the sound design: you can either listen to gorgeous rearrangements of Tokuhiko Uwabo’s masterpiece of a soundtrack, or take a nostalgic roundhouse kick to the chin and listen to the original 8-bit tunes.

The brand new visuals are gorgeous, but they don’t exactly try to emulate the “living breathing cartoon” art style from other Sega revival games released over the past few years. Instead, the developers have opted for what I can only describe as “high-res PS1” sprites, which look absolutely gorgeous in motion. Characters are incredibly well animated, and levels are bursting with detail. The only thing I didn’t like from this art style is the excessive emphasis on lighting and bloom effects, which can be a bit annoying to your eyes at some points during the game.


Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is gorgeous, but it is a bit TOO bright at times.

Now, for as much as I love the fact that this remake exists, I need to clarify once more that, for all intents and purposes, you are still playing a game from 1986. This means that even though it did receive an extra layer of polish and some quality of life improvements, some of the issues featured in the original Alex Kidd in Miracle World are present in here. The hit detection is faulty, with your punching attack barely able to hit anything half a foot away from you, and the slightest touch of any enemy instantly killing you. The infamous rock-paper-scissors battle system against bosses is also back, which means that defeating bosses in Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is all about luck, not skill. By no means are these confrontations difficult, but you need to take this factor into consideration.


Dude, it’s 2021. We can go at each other violently.

If you are okay with playing what is essentially a game from the 80’s with a 2021 coat of paint, then you’ll have a great time with Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX. This is a perfect way to introduce a brand new generation of gamers to a criminally underrated franchise that deserves way more respect than what little it got over the years. It’s colorful, adorable, not entirely hard to play, and most importantly, it’s one hell of a nostalgia bomb for those who grew up with it back in the day. I’m beyond delighted that Jankenteam and Merge Games took their time to bring this 80’s hero back to the spotlight and I hope they come with even more Alex Kidd games in the near future.


Graphics: 8.5

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX features a downright gorgeous new graphical coat of paint that is a delight to look at, even though its lighting and bloom effects can be a bit too exaggerated at times. You can revert back to the classic Master System visuals with the press of a button.

Gameplay: 6.5

By and large, it’s the exact same gameplay from the original Alex Kidd in Miracle World from 1986. It’s very simple and easy to learn, but it’s also filled with some unfair sections and questionable hit boxes.

Sound: 8.5

The original soundtrack has been recreated with new arrangements and instrumentation, but you can also listen to the iconic chiptune songs if you play the game in 8-bit mode.

Fun Factor: 8.0

It’s a blast from the past. It barely adds anything new in terms of gameplay improvements, but it offers players a brand new way to play one of the most underrated games of all time with prettiest graphics and accessibility options out there.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX was provided by the publisher.