Retro Rewind: Adventures of LoLo (NES)
Welcome to another edition of Retro Rewind, where I take you back to a time where video games were… well… simpler (or, maybe not so much). This time on Retro Rewind we’ll be taking a look at a video game on the NES called Adventures of LoLo, which was released in 1989. Never heard of it? Well no need to worry, just sit back and get ready to find out what makes this game so great, or in some cases… not so great. Let us not waste any more time, this is Retro Rewind, so lets get to the review!
First off, I’m sure you’re all wondering what type of creature LoLo is. The answer to that is, well, I haven’t the slightest clue, so lets move on to the story of the game. The story is, a villain known as the Great Devil kidnaps Princess LaLa and brings her to his castle. LoLo is the only one who can save her, that’s pretty much it. It’s a very original story for a video game, wouldn’t you say? I think so too. Honestly though, it’s just your typical video game plot, nothing more nothing less. So yeah, LoLo is our knight in shining armor in this game. Except he’s not a knight and he has no armor. What I mean is, he’s the main character and who you will be playing as throughout this game. Although LoLo may not look that tough, it’s fine because this is a puzzle game. That’s right, no muscle needed to take down the Great Devil, just brains. Next, lets dive into the gameplay for this game and see if it’s worth trying or not.
The Adventures of LoLo plays very simple, there’s really not a whole lot to it. A lot of what you do is just pushing objects into the right spot in order to block enemy projectiles. But of course there’s a little bit more than just that. When you get into the game you’ll notice there’s some stuff on the right side of the screen. So from top to bottom you’ll see the following.
Your Lives: You start out with 5 lives to start the game. once you lose all your lives you will gameover and start right back at the same stage you were at, after pressing continue of course. If not, the game supplies a 4 digit password for you so you can come back later and continue right where you left off. Pretty nice of them to do this considering how annoying it would be to start from the beginning every time you wanted to play again. But honestly, its even more generous of them to have only a 4 digit password as opposed to some games who have like 40 digit passwords…. Anyways, lives don’t really mean much, because once you lose em you just hit continue and start right where you left off.
Egg shots: In order to gain egg shots, you must grab a heart, not all hearts give egg shots but if the stage requires it then you’ll get 2 shots to use from a heart. I’ll go into further detail on what else hearts are for later on, but lets not worry about that now. These egg shots are used in a couple different ways. You can use 1 egg shot on an enemy in order to encase them in an egg, you can then move the enemy to a spot in order to block another enemy from firing at you. If you shoot an enemy a second time after its been trapped in an egg it will be blasted off screen for a short time before it respawns. Another use for egg shots is, trapping an enemy in an egg using 1 shot, then pushing them into water to allow you to hop on and reach areas you previously could not reach.
PW (power): When starting a stage, an arrow block, hammer, or bridge will appear in one of the 3 boxes. In some stages multiple items will appear. If they appear you need them, if not then the stage does not require the use of any of these items. Let me now explain the uses of these 3 power items.
- Arrow Block: Allows you to change the direction of an arrow block in the stage. Arrow blocks allow you to enter in any direction except for when it’s pointing directly at you. This power item is useful to allow access into areas previously blocked by an arrow facing you.
- Hammer: This power item allows you to smash through boulders. You’ll need to clear openings blocked by boulders in certain stages, the only way to do so is by using a hammer.
- Bridge: The bridge power allows you to place a bridge across a body of water. This will allow you to cross easily to the other side.
Hey, with all these abilities, don’t you think that LoLo would be great for Smash 4? Well, it’s probably best to not get started on that, after all, this is a review. (However, if you also believe LoLo would be a great addition to Smash, be sure to check out our post about it, coming sometime in the future, stay tuned!)
Anyways, lets get back on topic, I have a few more quick things to say about these items before we move on. In order to use these power items, simply hit the A button. The A button will also trigger your egg shots. If your by an object that you are able to use a power on it will always default to that. If not, the A button will be an egg shot, if you have any that is. The way you obtain these power items will be when the remaining hearts in the stage begin to flash. Once you obtain the item and use it, that’s it, you only get one chance to use these items where you need them or you must start over. Which brings me to my next point. What happens if you use either your eggs or power items wrong and are unable to complete the stage? Well, by hitting the select button, LoLo will go into his “death” animation (same as getting hit by an enemy), which will then reset you to the start of the stage. For the cost of one of your lives of course. So just remember, if you get stuck for any reason, just hit select and try again. Hopefully you won’t need to reset as often as I do….
So now we’re done with the items and what they do in order to help you along the way. Lets go over just how clearing a room works. It’s a basic concept but obviously the Great Devil isn’t going to let you get by that easily. This game, like many others has a number of different enemies. I’ll briefly go over what the enemies in this game do in order to stop you.
- Snakey: Doesn’t do a whole lot, mainly will just be placed in a location in order to block your path.
- Skull: Stays still until all hearts are obtained. Once you snatch the last heart, Skulls will come to life and chase after you. Don’t let one catch you or you will lose a life.
- Alma: Once they get close, they will chase you, occasionally rolling up into a ball. One touch by one of these enemies will cause you to lose a life.
- Rocky: They chase after you in an attempt to box you into a corner. Making contact with one of these enemies will not hurt you. However, If they trap you, they won’t budge, you’ll have no other option but to hit the select button and reset the stage.
- Leeper: They hop around the stage trying to catch you, once they do, they’ll fall asleep. Don’t let one fall asleep in a spot where you can’t escape. Once they’re asleep, they won’t be waking up any time soon.
- Gol: They sit and wait until you collect all the hearts, once you do they wake up and will launch fire at you if you cross in front. You can outrun this fire if you’re fast enough.
- Medusa: Never cross paths with a Medusa, If you do they will shoot an inescapable projectile, causing you to lose a life. If their line of sight is blocked by an object, you’re free to pass.
- Don Medusa: Moves left to right or up and down. Acts like a normal medusa when you cross its path. That’s right, it will also shoot an inescapable projectile at you. Don Medusa can be boxed into a corner by using a crate or enemy trapped in an egg.
Now there’s one more thing that will be in most rooms that I must mention, crates, well not sure if that’s really what they are but that’s what I’ll refer to them as. These crates look like green squares and can be pushed in front of enemies in order to box them in or block their projectiles. They will be placed throughout each stage, in some cases you’ll need all of em, in others you might just need a couple.
Let’s now get back to how you go about completing a room. This game consists of one screen rooms within a castle. Hearts are scattered throughout the room along with a chest with a jewel inside. In order to complete the room you must gather all hearts which will open up the chest. Grab the jewel within the chest and a door to the next room will open, or staircase to the next floor. Of course it’s not that easy though, this is a puzzle game, and here’s where the enemies come into play. The enemies will use their unique abilities to force you to find a way around it. So you must use your knowledge of the game in order to make a path to not only the hearts but the chest as well. So for example, if a medusa will shoot you if you get in front of it but it’s blocking a heart. You’ll need to either use a crate or possibly an enemy in an egg (like a snakey) to push in front to block the shot. then you will be able to grab the heart and continue on. The game is full of puzzles like these, some stages can actually be completed in different ways too. The puzzles star out easy but as you advance throughout the game they will gradually become more difficult. If you get stumped for a second, just take a step back and think for a little, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out.
My final thoughts on Adventures of LoLo. Well, I think this game is great. I love the puzzle element, It feels so great when you get stumped but then all of a sudden, it clicks with you and you see exactly what needs to be done. This game rewards you for being patient enough to take your time to figure out a difficult puzzle. It also rewards the player for being knowledgeable about the mechanics of your items and the enemies. If you know how the game works then you will be able to complete it, and there’s nothing more satisfying than using what you’ve learned in order to beat a challenging puzzle game like this one. It does a great job at introducing the enemies/items to you as well. They allow you to get to know how everything works in a more controlled environment first before the more difficult stages later on. With all that being said, there’s a few negative things i must say about this game. Ok, so there is only one song in the game that plays in EVERY stage. Not only that, but it’s a very short tune that’s on a loop. This can get really annoying at times, trust me. The next problem I have is a gameplay mechanic. So sometimes when you push objects you can push them just a little too far to where it becomes stuck and there’s nothing you can do about it. For example, you can push an object to where there’s a small gap between the object and a wall, the problem is, LoLo can’t squeeze into the small space in order to push the object away from the wall. You gotta be extra careful to make sure you don’t push it that extra inch or you gotta restart. If LoLo was able to pull items, then this would not be a problem, unfortunately that’s not how the game was designed. Anyways, this gets really annoying in stages that make you move really fast. You try to move quickly but you always gotta slow down to make sure you didn’t push the crate or egg too far. So yeah, those are the only 2 things about this game that really annoy me. Very minor, but If it were up to me, I would have more than one song for the game just to change it up a bit, and also allow LoLo to pull items such as crates and eggs. But like I said before, this is a great game and I highly recommend it. It is a puzzle game though so keep that in mind, if puzzles aren’t your thing then maybe you should pass on Adventures of LoLo. But, for all of you who like problem solving and enjoy a good challenge, definitely check out this NES classic.
As always thank you for checking out this Retro Rewind review and be sure to post in the comments what you think about the game and suggestions for future Retro Rewinds. One more cool little thing that I’d like to mention before I wrap this up. Playing this game again in order to right up this review I actually beat it for the first time ever. Yeah, I feel pretty good about that, never been able to beat it before but because of Retro Rewind I was able to complete this game and see the ending. Ok, time to wrap this up. Make sure while you’re here on AZBros.com you check out our other content. There’s not a whole lot of it yet, but there will be, so make sure you check back whenever you get the chance. I’m Lockjaw, and I’ll see you next time!