Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Retrospective: Adventures of Lolo / Eggerland Series

Yesterday (Oct. 26th) was my birthday and I'm now 24 years old! Let's celebrate by talking about a game series I always wanted to play as a kid but never got the chance. The funny thing is that I was just enamored by the games' cover art and didn't know it actually was my kind of game. What luck, eh? Eventually, in my slightly older and vaguely wiser years, I was finally able to adventure with Lolo through the magic of emulation. Here's the Adventures of Lolo / Eggerland Series for NES (and others)...

(The first Adventures of Lolo for NES)

Adventures of Lolo actually has its roots in the Eggerland series, which debuted to Japan as Eggerland Mystery for MSX computer systems. It wasn't until after 2 MSX, 2 Famicom Disk System and one Famicom Eggerland games that we (at least in America) finally got Adventures of Lolo, which is a compilation of levels from previous Eggerland games with some originals. After that, we english speakers got most of the Lolo love that developer HAL was willing to give.

Unfortunately, the history of the series is rather complex, especially when comparing the Japanese games to the ones that made it out of Japan. The basic gameplay of the series, however, remains the same for the most part. The game is similar in concept to the box-pushing puzzle game Sokoban but with major enhancements making for a much more interesting game.

The goal in each room of Adventures of Lolo is simple to explain, grab all the "heart framers" which opens the chest. Grab the jewel from the chest and move on to the next room. Reaching this goal, however, can prove quite difficult.

(The first Adventures of Lolo for NES)

Lolo needs to rescue Princess Lala from the evil King Egger! Lolo is a simple little fellow and typically can only push or collect objects to use. On the other hand, usually once per room he will gain the ability to fire 2 or more shots at enemies. One shot turns an enemy into a strategically pushable egg that will hatch back into that enemy, two shots causes the egg created by the first shot to go flying. After a while, the enemy will respawn. So you can see that offense is not Lolo's strong point. He must rely on the player's ability to solve complex puzzles and lead him to safety.

Where the gameplay really shines is the sum of all its parts. The enemy variety, how the player must use various items, position blocks or egged enemies, all work well together with the great level design. Even figuring out in what order to collect the heart framers is important.

Adventures of Lolo, and for that matter the entire Eggerland series, is a great action/puzzle game that feels a bit like a combination of Sokoban and Pac-Man. Action/puzzle game fans should not miss trying this series.

For more information, see Wikipedia and MobyGames.

Note!: Lolo and Lala have actually appeared in Kirby games having shared the same developer, HAL.


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