If 2011 showed us anything, it’s that indie developers are a force to be reckoned with. Cinderella stories like last year’s Minecraft and Bastion are two fantastic examples of what can happen when an idea festers and turns into a full-blown playable thing that takes the masses by storm. People talk, word gets around, and suddenly you feel as if you’re on top of the world.
It’s the same feeling that Roger Barr and the rest of Team Bobo should be feeling right about now with the launch of their flash game, Abobo’s Big Adventure. Spoilers aside, it is arguably the best flash game I have ever played and an incredible tribute to one of game culture’s most influential consoles – the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The big adventure begins with Abobo’s son being kidnapped in the style of Double Dragon. Abobo, crash landing on a cat after the opening credits to Mega Man II, discovers that he’s been taken away as the game begins its parody-filled ode to gaming generations past.
Abobo’s Big Adventure is divided into eight levels and each one is made to play as a popular NES game – with many (and I mean many) nods to 80′s pop culture and the NES games you may or may not have played a long long time ago.
You start off street-brawling with 8-bit thugs in a Double Dragon themed area. Then you get sucked down a green plumber’s pipe to an underwater swimming level. You navigate a dungeon a-la the original Legend of Zelda. yOU even take out the likes of an Amazon swamp monster in the Pro Wrestling arena thanks to the 8-bit likes of Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Undertaker, and the Ultimate Warrior.
Even though each stage plays differently than the one before, the button layout theory remains the same through the entire game. Like a NES controller, directional buttons move Abobo according to the stage’s orientation. The A and S keys on the keyboard are used to jump, perform an attack, or launch an impressive full-screen Rage move that usually kills smaller enemies in one shot while damaging bosses and larger creatures severely.
The music is as you would expect: from a NES tribute game – with each stage playing their very memorable 8-bit themes while you bash enemy heads in. While there Is no voice acting to speak of, there are several breathtaking instances of very fluid ultra-violent 2D animation drawn in thE SAME pixelated cel-shaded style that made the Scott Pilgrim brawler come to life. To quote a very 80′s Darth Vader, these stage-breaking (literally speaking) moments are: “Impressive – most impressive.”
While the game isn’t very long, it can be unforgivingly hard at times, which is truly a testament to the gaming skills we have taken for granted these past few console generations.
There are a number of achievements to unlock over multiple play-throughs, which are sure to keep the completionists coming back for second helpings. For the rest of you gamers on a budget, the best news of all is that it is completely free and playable on Newgrounds as well as Abobo’s homepage located at this link.
Running down a list of everything that was crammed into Abobo’s Big Adventure would be a futile effort – it goes without saying though: if you have a soft spot for nostalgia or grew up with Nintendo’s grey box (whose games ran by blowing into the cartridge), you must play this game.