The Adventures of Lolo trilogy – and the first game in particular – provides some of the best puzzle action you’ll find on the NES or any other console.
Lolo’s beloved Princess Lala has gone missing, locked deep within a castle by the evil King Egger. In front of her rescue lies ten floors, with five levels per floor. Each level contains hearts, a treasure chest, enemies, and various flora and fauna, all precariously placed for maximum cranial strain. To move forward, Lolo must grab all the hearts and uncover the treasure chest without getting killed by the various enemies.
The heart of Lolo is its meticulous level design. Rarely is there a block or enemy out of place. Some of the more common enemies include medusa heads that turn Lolo to stone, unless you cover their eyes (which can see you from all four directions); skulls who only come to life after you acquire all the hearts; hopping lizards that fall asleep the second they touch you, potentially obstructing your progress; and pink dragons that wake up after you get all the hearts and shoot fireballs at you. If you mess up in a stage – trap yourself in a corner or accidentally use all your power-ups for the level – you can press Select, killing yourself and restarting the stage. It’s helpful, but Lolo does scream bloody murder when he dies, so just be aware. Thankfully, the game has unlimited continues and passwords, should you get too frustrated.
Because of Lolo’s precarious nature, the restrictive D-pad occasionally does more harm than good. If you’re moving a block to, well, block an enemy from spewing projectiles at you, it’s not uncommon to accidentally move it a little too far past the enemy and be killed. Thankfully, this only becomes an issue in the later levels, when every move you make and every power-up you obtain is a life-or-death matter.
The controls shouldn’t hold you back from this fantastic series, though. The Lolo trilogy is indeed one of the finest on the NES, and this first entry is perfect for gamers who aren’t sure that they’ll like a full-fledged puzzle game. Adventures of Lolo might not carry the pizzazz of other NES action titles, but the feeling of accomplishment after you’ve conquered the game is far greater. A true unsung gem in the NES library.
PUBLISHER: HAL America DEVELOPER: HAL Labs GENRE: Puzzle
RELEASE DATE: 04/1989 – (US), 02/21/91 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Virtual Console (Wii, 3DS, Wii U), NS Online