hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Abobo's Big Adventure

Review: Abobo's Big Adventure

6:30 PM on 03.11.2012 // Daniel Starkey
  @dcstarkey

The NES era was a special time for a lot of us. Many of the staff here at Dtoid will always have a certain attachment to the period, myself included.

Abobo's Big Adventure is a tribute to all those who grew up with the gaming gods of old. This free Flash game is quite fun and funny, definitely well worth a trip down memory lane.

Abobo's Big Adventure (PC)
Developer: Team Bobo
Publisher: Team Bobo
Released: January 11, 2012 
MSRP: FREE
Rig: Intel i7-820QM @3.06 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 480M GPU

Abobo's Big Adventure is a minimal game, a tribute to the NES generation in which everyone from Donkey Kong to Ryu Hayabusa makes an appearance in some form or another. Focused on punishing difficulty and an assumed proficiency on the part of the player, Abobo is a juxtaposition of the modern and the classic, a tangential parody of the youth and innocence of the NES era that melds grotesque physical comedy (read: poop rockets and bloodsport) and the simple gameplay of times long past.

Drawing purely from the comedy of anachronistic allusions, Abobo constructs a caricature of everything about contemporary video game culture and feels like nothing less than a snarky shot at the 21st-century gamer. In my experience, a delicious cocktail of allusion and parody are the highest form of comedy. They necessitate prior experience and knowledge as well as engagement and immediate reflection upon the consumed work.

Abobo fits right in that niche, tapping into the collective experience core gamers have with the NES. In much the same way that Greco-Roman art can be said to be the foundation of Western culture as a whole, the monomyth of the gamer would be the marriage of MarioMega Man, Metroid, and more. It is an aspect of our culture that we all share to some degree, even if the days of the NES weren't our own.

While never quite reaching the comic brilliance of Portal or PsychonautsAbobo has more than a few "laugh out loud" moments. More often than not, however, it warrants a mild "heh." Solidly constructed in general, the game still steps into the realm of excessive too often (like the aforementioned poop rockets). It was originally made as a free Flash game for Newgrounds and has that classic Newgrounds toilet humor. It fits the audience well. 

Stepping outside the allusions, Abobo doesn't have much depth, though in this instance, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Controls are very simple -- you move with the arrow keys and execute techniques with "A" and "S," effectively using the keyboard like an inverted NES controller. Actions are context-sensitive, as the levels are a wildly varied smorgasbord of 8-bit staples. You can go from fighting down Double Dragon alleyways, questing through a penis-shaped Zelda dungeon, and touching gloves with Punch-Out's Little Mac. 

Playing just like their respective sources, from a mechanical perspective alone, the stages are damn near perfect. While often a bit too hard for my tastes, they never veers into the realm of absurd (see I Wanna Be the Guy). The title relies on technical skill, not raw trial and error, so if you die, it is your fault. This, like everything else, feeds into the theme of evoking nostalgia for an adult gaming audience. Then there are the boss battles, glorious indulgences in third-generation gaming that amount to simple tests of skill. The 80's aesthetic is matched with gusto, placing the protagonist side-by-side with engines of unbridled nostalgia.

Clocking in at around two hours, Abobo manages to pack a lot of content in a very small space -- each of the eight levels contains several dozen references to the NES. Though I realize that the game is meant to throw the audience into the wayback machine, I also realize just how far games have come since then. Even if you are only playing for challenge, there has been a resurgence of modern games that are better in nearly every way (e.g. Super Meat Boy). This isn't to say that Abobo is bad, but it isn't as good as other, newer-feeling games. Still, the experience as a whole is unique and definitely worth a look, especially if you grew up the late 80's or early 90's. Its referential humor is fun and not something that can be found anywhere else.

Abobo's Big Adventure is a competent, very short but sweet throwback to our Golden Age. The referential humor and absurd juxtaposition of modern sensibilities on older mores is great, but it's all been done already and better. The game does nothing wrong, in the strictest sense, but it just doesn't have that "pop," that "wow" that leaves a truly lasting impression. That said, it is free, so if you're a gamer on a budget or someone just looking for a few yucks, it's definitely worth it to follow Abobo on his journey, at least for a little while.



THE VERDICT

8

Abobo's Big Adventure - Reviewed by Daniel Starkey
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Perro avatarPerro
Listening to Studio Ghibli Collection at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WbO_LPXDo Reminds me that my dad really liked Howl's Moving Castle. He's retired military and serious most of the time but rather enjoyed its fanciful world.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Sorry for my inactivity... I've been lacking motivation and have nothing on my mind right now so i haven't blogged in a while. Still playing Grandia 2 anniversarry, getting annoyed by mount and blade warband's phantasy calradia mod and other shit...
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Donkey Kong Land 3 Any% Speedruns, right now! [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Remember Black? That PS2 era shooter from Criterion? It has a REALLY good orchestral soundtrack. I'm gonna throw that in my MGSV iDroid. Why not.
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Can't sleep cast: Donkey Kong Land Any% [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
ooktar avatarooktar
Defeated a sniper in MGS V by dropping supplies on his head. 10/10.
Nat Monney avatarNat Monney
I'm with 3 other guys and we're about to release a mobile game we started almost 3 years ago. What should we do ? [youtube]https://youtu.be/5EGPUBZCGwo[/youtube]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys I'm on a train what should I do?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Traded in a bunch of old Star Trek novels and other books at a used bookstore. Made $10 and got Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls" album along with it. They made me take the William Shatner novels back. Smart clerks.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Also I will be reviewing freedom wars. I didnt make it to the end. I will not be kind to it. There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Yeah....been there before.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Grim Fandango......some real good sruff here. As soon as I complete it (vita version, of course) will probably see about a write up. Not perfect, but theres some good stuff here. Glad it got brought back from obsolescence hell.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
*sigh* If only Disqus had a "block/ignore user" option :/
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Must. Use. This. Blog. More. But. School.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just started playing Hyrule Warriors again. Man is that game fun. A bit mindless at times granted, but fun nonetheless.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/6Cu2Asg.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/qMFDAw3.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/RPUraY8.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Abobo's Big Adventure


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -