Adventures of Lolo
|Adventures of Lolo|
North American cover art
Adventures of Lolo is a puzzle game released in 1989 by HAL Corporation for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is based on the Japanese Eggerland video game series. It is available on the Wii's Virtual Console in all territories with the exception of Japan which was released for the Nintendo 3DS on April 9, 2014.
Premise and gameplay
Adventures of Lolo begins with Lala being captured by the villain, King Egger, requiring Lolo to go to Egger's castle to rescue her. This castle has several floors, each of them requiring players to collect hearts that open a treasure chest. Once this chest is opened, players may then proceed into the next room. After four rooms, they will find a stairway leading them upward. The levels get progressively harder, and have several varieties of enemies; the earliest is called Snakey, which does no harm to Lolo. More difficult enemies include the Medusa, which will instantly kill Lolo if he crosses its path, assuming no objects such as blocks or stones are in the way. Lolo's primary gameplay mechanic is the ability to move objects, primarily blocks. Lolo can also move or destroy enemies by shooting at them, transforming them into movable eggs. If an egg is shot, it disappears, causing the enemy to remain off of the screen for a period of time. If Lolo is touched or attacked by an enemy, he will die. If players get stuck in a stage, they can push a button to cause Lolo to die and the stage to restart.
Development and release
Adventures of Lolo was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by HAL America for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in North America on 20 April 1989 and in Europe in February 1991. A Nintendo representative commented that Nintendo was "trying to stretch the kids' imaginations" with Lolo. It was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console on 8 June 2007 in North America and on 6 August 2007 in PAL regions. Until its sequels, Lolo 2 and Lolo 3, this is the only game in the series to not be released in Japan until it was re-released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console on April 9, 2014.
Adventures of Lolo has received positive reception from critics and fans alike. Lolo's success was surprising to its developer HAL Laboratory. Game, Set, Watch's Todd Ciolek called it the "leader of the [block-shoving] movement", garnering a cult following. IGN called it one of Satoru Iwata's successes, describing it as something that was "all about fun, appeal and simplicity over an abundance of bells and whistles". Toronto Star listed it as one of their recommended NES games for children. Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead praised it for not being "yet another cutesy platformer", calling it a "diverting casual game". He stated that it wasn't a "classic title that everyone should rush to own", but it was still a quality title. Writer Justin McElroy commented that he had fond memories of it, and has no worry of how well it has aged since its release on the NES, feeling that puzzle games stay "enjoyable forever"; however, he criticized the music, saying that its looping drove players "ever closer to the dark edge of madness". GameSpot's Frank Provo called it addictive, commenting that the gameplay holds up in the current day. He added that while the characters were cute, the graphics were simple, and that the game could be finished in one day. Wired's Chris Kohler called its Virtual Console release a "tempting choice". IGN's Cam Shea said that it wasn't worth paying for, though it had more value than lots of other Virtual Console titles. IGN's Levi Buchanan named it one of the best Virtual Console titles, stating that it will last for hours.
Author Steven A. Schwartz called Lolo is a strategic game, and that players who have successfully done logic problems in magazines would have an easier time with this game. Similarly, Dennis Lynch of the Chicago Tribune called it a "challenge of logic, not brute force", as well as "addictive". He also noted that Lolo was a game that would appeal to both genders. Author Andy Slaven called its puzzles creative. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish called it a great puzzle game, calling it "highly recommended" due to its combination of its complexity and simplicity. IGN's Lucas M. Thomas felt that it would be intriguing to fans of puzzle-action games, calling it "simple on the surface, but deceptively complex once you get going". GameSpy's Benjamin Turner commented that it was "hard as hell", and would "put any MENSA member to the test". Fellow GameSpy writer Christian Nutt bemoaned HAL for abandoning Lolo for Kirby. Video game developer John Harris listed Lolo in his article on 20 difficult games, commenting that anyone who could figure out the "Snakey Displacement" technique, a technique that requires players to cause an enemy to move to a place where they normally cannot go, was not a genius, but rather insane. Nintendo Life's Darren Calvert called its level designs "ingenious", commenting that they will "tax the old grey matter". Nintendo World Report's Michael Cole commented that its gameplay remained fresh in its Wii release, as well as "approachable".
Adventures of Lolo's gameplay has been compared to several other video games by critics. GamePro's Heidi Kemps compared Ivy the Kiwi?'s gameplay to Lolo's. Selby Bateman of Game Players magazine compared the adventurous experience of Lolo to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, calling the former more sophisticated. 1UP.com's Kevin Gifford compared it to Wrecking Crew. IGN compared Kickle Cubicle to Lolo, though noting that it was easier. Writer Danny Cowan compared the video game Roll Away was similar to the "find the key/find the exit" gameplay of Lolo. It has also been the inspiration for other video games; video game developer Ryan Clark attributed the inspiration for his video game Professor Fizzwizzle in part to Adventures of Lolo. LIT developer Adam Tierney drew inspiration for LIT from Lolo.
Adventures of Lolo was followed by two sequels for the NES - Adventures of Lolo 2 and Adventures of Lolo 3 in 1990 and 1991 respectively. A Game Boy follow-up was released in 1994 with the same name (it is known in Japan as Lolo no Daibouken).
Lolo and Lala, the game's protagonists, have appeared in Kirby's Dream Land and later in its adaptation in Kirby Super Star under the monikers Lololo and Lalala, as well as in Kirby's Avalanche as Lololo and Lalala, where they play an antagonistic role. Both game series are made by HAL Laboratory, Inc..
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