In my profile description I state that I enjoy puzzle games, yet I have not written about any yet. So let’s take a look at a series that started back in the early days of the NES: Adventures of Lolo. This was a trilogy developed by HAL, who are most well-known for making Kirby games. It’s a quirky little series that is both challenging and fun. Let’s take a look at each entry:
The one that started it all was quite innovative and set the tone for the rest of the series. Lolo, a cute blue sphere, sees his girlfriend Lala-a cute red sphere- get captured by the Great Devil and taken to the top of his castle. Your job as Lolo is to ascend the castle room by room and floor by floor, eventually making it to the top and rescuing Lala. The goal in each room is to collect all the heart framers to open the treasure box, and then collect the treasure inside and move to the next room. There are many different enemies and obstacles to overcome, like Snakeys, Gols, Leapers, Medusas, and Don Medusas. Snakeys sit there and usually block your way, while Don Medusas will move back and forth and shoot you if you are in their line of fire. There is only one main music track to the game, but it’s quite catchy, while the graphics are cute and colorful, which get the job done nicely.
Some heart framers will give Lolo the ability to shoot a couple shots and turn enemies into eggs, which can be shot away or pushed to block enemy projectiles, cross water, or simply move out of the way to get somewhere. Collecting a certain number of hearts will also allow you the use of items like bridges to build over water or lava, and hammers to crush rocks. Overall, it’s a great start to the series, and just right in the challenge department, as most veteran puzzle gamers should be able to complete it without much difficulty.
We’ve got more of the same this time. Basically, some of the monsters look a little different, and the graphics are a little more polished, and there is another music track that plays the whole game. Instead of a castle, you get to rescue Lala from a tower, and then board an airship to get to a floating castle. Lolo also gets to fight the Great Devil at the end of the game, instead of just watching a cutscene. Overall, it’s a little different than the first Lolo game, but not by much, and the difficulty is just slightly increased.
The third entry is arguably the best in the series, and the one that is the most innovative and challenging. The core gameplay is essentially the same as the first two, but this time there are different dungeons, towers, caves, etc. that must be explored, not unlike Bomberman games. Each of these has five or ten rooms to complete, and usually you can vary the order in which you take on certain levels, unlike the first two games. There is a new whale enemy called Moby in the underwater areas, and plenty of boss fights, which are at the end of themed dungeons. For example, at the end of a dungeon filled with mostly Snakeys, you fight a huge Snakey and are given infinite magic shots to do so. These are unique and fun.
The game’s length has been doubled, with 100 rooms to clear this time. At around the halfway mark, Lolo 3 increases greatly in difficulty, and I personally have yet to beat this game without an online walkthrough. Another cool feature is the ability to play as Lolo or Lala. This time the inhabitants of Eggerland in the castle were caught unawares when The Great Devil turned them all to stone, but thankfully, Lolo and Lala were away when it happened. There’s no difference in playing as Lala, but it’s still a cool feature.
If you enjoy puzzle games and have never heard of The Adventures of Lolo before, definitely give them a try. The first two are on Nintendo’s Virtual Console as well as the NES, but the third one you’ll have to track down a physical copy of, which can be a little pricey. I highly recommend them, and if you can beat the third one without any outside help, that’s quite an amazing accomplishment. So grab an NES controller, or a Wii classic controller, and enjoy.