The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a top-down action game with puzzle-solving elements similar to the original The Legend of Zelda. After the side-scrolling and RPG-like gameplay of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the game is a return to the top-down view and gameplay style of the first installment. It introduces major new items to the series such as the Master Sword and the concept of two different worlds, which was revisited to some extent in Ocarina of Time with two distinct time periods rather than dark and light worlds.
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For modern players this is likely the oldest Zelda that is still palatable.
Structured to be a semi-linear experience as opposed to the mostly open-ended nature of Zelda I and the strictly segmented structure of Zelda II, ALttP keeps the guard-rails on until the Dark World has been unlocked for a while. Really only offering the option of swapping the order of a few mid-game dungeons around granting the opportunity to attain an upgraded sword early. For 26 years this would be the last time a Zelda game provided such freedom of routing to players. Anyway it's a super solid and laid-back romp through pixel-perfect Hyrule. Unless you're trying to pull off a no-death no-continues clear for a "perfect" save-file, there's minimal challenge to be had that can't be overcome with persistence. Making for an easy recommend to the general gaming audience.
"Mmm. How can we be needlessly obtuse this time... Ah yes. Let's force players to fire their hookshot off-screen in order to reach the third darkworld dungeon." The only reason this didn't trip me up this time was due to my distinct memories as a kid getting annoyed that the skulls to hookshot to have to be blind-fired at. That this is pretty much the extent that ALttP gets obtuse is a credit to its improved signposting for player directions.
It strikes me I forgot about the entrance to Blind's Hideout...
Fuck the digging minigame.