Virtual Console Review: Adventures of Lolo

The NES puzzle game that completely doesn’t look like one.

By Francisco Naranjo. Posted 07/16/2010 16:53 5 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Fun, clever and unique puzzles.
Poison Mushroom for...
Too much trial and error, uneven difficulty.

Before Kirby, there was another spherical hero created by HAL Laboratory named Lolo, who starred in more than 10 games of his own from 1985 to 2000. Adventures of Lolo, the only one of those games that was never released in Japan due to it being practically a compilation of levels from previous games in the series, was the game that introduced Lolo to those not living in Japan. This particular title has been defined as the easiest in the series, which makes it a perfect way to get into Lolo’s series.

Unlike the previous Japanese titles, Adventures of Lolo for NES has an intro that tells the story of the game: Lala (the pink, female counterpart to Lolo, and apparently his girlfriend) has been captured by the evil King Egger and Lolo’s must rescue her. As Lolo, you have to climb a huge tower, floor by
floor, in order to save Lala. That may sound like an adventure game, but it’s actually a puzzle.

Lolo must go through 50 rooms before getting to the top of the tower, but in order to complete a room, he must collect all the Heart Frames within it. When you do that, a treasure chest opens, and once you snag it, every enemy in the room disappears. The first rooms are rather simple, but the game eventually becomes difficult by having more dangerous enemies, more Heart Frames to collect and various terrain types and obstacles to overcome.

Besides walking and pushing blocks, Lolo has 4 different powers: Magic Shot, hammer, bridge and arrow. Magic Shots temporarily turn enemies into eggs that can be pushed or completely finished off with a second shot. Magic Shots are finite: they are acquired by collecting some Heart Frames that not too conveniently look exactly like regular Heart Frames. Hammers let you break one boulder, bridges let you cross one single tile of water, and arrows let you cross some tiles that can only be walked by in one specific direction.

Sometimes you’ll find yourself relying too much on trial and error, since there’s no way to know how a new enemy works until it’s too late, and there’s no way to know the direction of a water current until you drop something on the water. If you get stuck in a room, you can press Select to start over again at the cost of one life, so it’s like killing yourself. You start with 5 lives, but it’s possible to continue from the last level you played instantly after you get a game over screen. As with most NES games of this era, Adventures of Lolo uses a password system for saving.

Even though it’s not a bad looking game by any means, it lacks color and variety. Brown and green are the most prevalent colors, with some blue and pink in some places. The music can get tiring after a long playing session, but nothing too aggravating. With a pretty basic concept but some very clever puzzles, Adventures of Lolo is a great puzzle game that’s still worth playing today and can be picked up on Wii’s Virtual Console for 500 Nintendo Points.

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