The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most popular and beloved series and this is the game that started it all. I have to say; this is a series which is top notch right from the start. This game introduces us to the hero Link, who has to travel across the kingdom of Hyrule so he can collect the eight pieces of the triforce to defeat the evil king Ganon and save Princess Zelda; a basic story, but pretty standard for an 80s game.
You take control of Link and find yourself standing in the middle of Hyrule at the start, you head into a cave and get yourself a wooden sword; what you do next is entirely up to you. The world of Hyrule is completely open and you are free to explore it as you please. There are temples in various different locations which house each piece of the triforce (and are full of monsters and simple puzzles) and it’s basically up to you which order you do them in. Admittedly, there is an intended order and the difficulty slowly ascends according to that order, so doing one of the later ones first is going to be difficult, but it’s also unlikely, since the tougher temples are in the harder to reach areas.
Beyond the eight temples you need to find, the world is full of secrets and just walking around searching for secret openings is very fun. I find it very satisfying when I set a bush on fire and find that there was a secret staircase beneath it. It pays to explore, as well, as there are some extremely useful items to be found if you’re willing to look. You’re given very little guidance, however, and other than cryptic clues from a few old men hidden in caves, you’re left to find out everything yourself, which could be potentially off-putting for some players (but not me.)
Towards the end, it does get a little difficult, just because there’s an abundance of very strong enemies which can be frustrating at times. Also, while the music of the game is pretty good (though 8-bit) there aren’t all that many musical tracks and the NES era visuals may appear bland to some. But, generally, the Zelda series is off to a very good start, and if you’re a fan, you should definitely give it a try.