Adventures of Lolo

Submitted by b on Wed, 01/16/2019 - 13:47

The Switch's selection of old NES games is pretty small right now, but it's worth it to play some games that I maybe hadn't spent as much time as I would have liked to have when the NES was new, but it's also a good way to play old NES games without having to fiddle around with an old NES (although, I'm still trying to figure out how to hook up my NES Advantage to the Switch for the best possible experience). I saw not too long ago that a game that I almost completely forgot about, Adventures of Lolo, made the cut and was available to play, so I sat down to play it for the first time in... A while.

If you don't know, Adventures of Lolo is a puzzle game where you have to guide Lolo through a series of rooms full of (mostly) sleeping monsters, 'heart framers', 'emerald framers', and a chest containing a jewel. Collecting the jewel clears the monsters from the level and lets you move to the next room. Collecting the heart framers opens the chest and also gives Lolo some limited magic powers (usually just the ability to turn a monster into an egg and push it around a little), and pushing the emerald framers does nothing exciting, but by careful planning, you can use them to safely navigate around the monsters once they've awoken. It's usually better to see it in action rather than trying to explain it.

The first time I played Adventures of Lolo I didn't do so well. Sure, I had read all about it in my worn-out copy of How To Win at Nintendo Games, but just reading dry descriptions of the levels and their solutions didn't really stick in my mind very well, and I was a kid with no patience who spent two bucks to rent this game for an evening, so I really wanted to make it through this thing before having to take it back to the store. I don't remember how far I actually got, but it was a far cry from the end (and the scrap of paper I used to record my password on is lost to the mists of time). I took it back to the rental shop and didn't really think about it again for a long time.

I played it again once or twice during retro-game parties during my college years, but didn't really make much progress there, either, since I was more interested in playing games that I was actually good at. And, I again forgot all about it for a long time. Until last week, in fact, when I turned on my Switch and saw that it had been added to my list of complimentary NES games on their Old Games (and also you can play online) Service. I decided to give it another shot and see how far I could make it this time, fully expecting that I would play it for a few minutes, give up, and then go look at something else for a while.

I solved the first few puzzles easily enough (which is great, since they're supposed to be pretty easy). I then got to some harder puzzles that, after thinking about them for a few minutes, was able to clear. Then some more. And then some more. I'm not sure exactly how far I ever made it in this game as a kid, but I started seeing levels I didn't recognize after a while, so I knew I got past whatever point it was. And I kept going.

Over the course of two nights and about three hours, I was able to finish all of the levels, defeat the demon king, and rescue Lolo's girlfriend/sister/whatever she is.

So, was the game easier for me now that I have something like 30 years' more experience playing video games? Was it easier for me to sit down and concentrate since I no longer had the looming deadline of having to finish the game right now since it goes back tomorrow? Or is it something else entirely? I'll probably never know, since I'm most likely not going to think about it too much after I publish this. I'm more interested in finding some more old puzzlers that I was terrible at and seeing if I'm any better at those now.