A playthrough of Hal’s 1989 puzzle game for the NES, Adventures of Lolo.
The Lolo games have always been favorites of mine on the NES. My best friend in elementary school had this one, and he and I would spend hours chipping away at the puzzles. Adventures of Lolo didn’t get put in the machine quite as often as Wrestlemania or Spy Hunter when we’d play together, but we played it enough to have quite the long list of passwords scrawled on a torn sheet of notebook paper that we kept stuffed in the game’s dust sleeve.
Though they were developed by Hal (remember Lolo’s cameo in Kirby’s Dream Land?), the American trilogy of NES games was only ever released in America. They weren’t entirely original titles, though: this first game in the US series pulls its stage designs from older Japanese-only MSX titles. The graphics and sound were dramatically improved, and some of the core mechanics were altered, but Adventures of Lolo is, in large part, a “greatest hits” mix of two older games. And it was produced by Satoru Iwata, if you’re a fan of his works.
Adventures of Lolo was pretty neat when it was new. There weren’t many games like it on the NES at the time. The game required very little in the way of reflexes – it was meant to be straight brain-candy. A thinking person’s game. And I loved it.
There are 50 puzzles in total, and each takes place on a single screen. The goal is to collect all of the heart containers in order to open the treasure chest holding the key that unlocks the door to the next stage, and boy, some of these puzzles are DEVIOUS – enough so that the select button makes Lolo commit suicide, resetting the stage. There was a lot of note-taking involved in playing this – if not for my pages of hand-scrawled notes and diagrams I certainly wouldn’t have gotten through it in one sitting with the ease that I do here.
Each monster has its own method of making Lolo miserable – some will fire at him if he hasn’t properly blocked their lines of sight, while others chase him and fall asleep on contact, most likely trapping Lolo in the process. It takes a fair amount of effort and focus to make it very far, but it is incredibly addictive once you get comfortable with the mechanics.
Nintendo recently announced that this one is coming to the Switch in the next week, so I figured that now was as good of an opportunity as any to share one my childhood favorites.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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