Abobo: Bringing People Together Since 1987

Caro kicks it old-school with some help from her friends and Double Dragon's most memorable baddie, and reflects on how games have always been social.

The existence of massively multiplayer online games, Xbox Live, and any number of other relatively newfangled inventions ensures that many gaming experiences we have these days are intrinsically social. But even back in the 1980s, long before you could spam all your friends with requests in Indiana Jones Adventure World on Facebook, gaming was always a largely social experience for me. It was something friends and I could bond over, and even with single-player games, it was often something we could share. I have so many memories of passing a controller back and forth with friends while playing one-player NES games, as we cheered each other on and helped each other overcome challenging sections.

Metroid: An early example of a social game.

I was reminded yesterday of what that felt like. Tom, Giancarlo, and I spent some time in the studio playing the free Flash game Abobo's Big Adventure. The game is a tribute to the glory days of the NES, and if you don't have fond memories of that console's games, Abobo's Big Adventure probably won't do much for you. But if you do have a fondness for games of the NES era, you should absolutely check out the game. It's a labor of love that's jam-packed with a staggering number of pitch-perfect references to NES games, and playing it, I'm often stunned by how vivid the memories it makes me recall are. I hadn't thought about the bosses in the game Kung Fu in decades, for instance, but when they appeared onscreen during the first level of Abobo's Big Adventure, I instantly recalled who they were and what it was like to fight them.

A typical reference-packed moment in Abobo's Big Adventure.

But there's much more to Abobo's Big Adventure than the references. It doesn't just duplicate the sprites, environments, and music of so many NES games; it also captures the simple but challenging gameplay of the games it imitates. It was this challenge that led Tom, Giancarlo, and me to pass the keyboard back and forth as we played, each of us taking the reins when our particular skills were useful. So I spent a lot of time watching, but this was no less exciting than playing the game myself. Just like the old days when I would watch a friend confront a challenging boss in Blaster Master or face Dracula at the end of Castlevania, I watched nervously yesterday as my colleagues played, cringing at their failures and reveling in their triumphs. That shared, supportive experience is such a significant aspect of my earliest memories of gaming, and Abobo's Big Adventure brought it all back. I can't tell if it's because games have changed or because the way I play them has, but that's not an experience I get enough of from games these days.

You can play Abobo's Big Adventure yourself, for free, right here.

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21 comments
wornstar
wornstar moderatorstaff

Yes! The Amazon & Star Fighter or Giant Panther for the next Smash Bros!

edubb85
edubb85

Surprize.. Surprize.. Tom failed at controlling the character in the Zelda parody. Lemme guess broken controls? XD

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@DashRender619 If you never actually purchased it yourself, you're out of luck, but if you bought it and then deleted it to make room for other stuff, you can recover Double Dragon at any time by going into your Download History. :)

lorider25
lorider25

the zelda map is shaped like a rocket penis...just saying.

buckeyenick
buckeyenick

Played it and beat it love how they have so many funny achievements in the game. I highly recommend it to any child of the 80's great game and thank you so much for having this article I would have never known about it if not for this article thanks.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

for the people saying that this game wouldn't be made if SOPA and PIPA supporters have their way well maybe that is true but the maker of this game still had the opportunity to take what he made to people who owned the rights to the characters and they would have decided and I see nothing wrong with that ... stop piracy and infringement on copyright n more

Giancarlo
Giancarlo moderator

@CDWJUSTIN Lolo was one of those games where I always stared at the box art for like 10 minutes anytime I saw it at the store. Sadly, I never played it.

nate1222
nate1222

If the SOPA and PIPA supporters had their way, this (rather awesome) game would've gotten Gamespot blocked and the game's creators sued, jailed and branded as terrorists.

CDWJUSTIN
CDWJUSTIN

the LADDER is a LOLO (NES) reference which is fing awesome... and they didnt even get that lol hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ScarGod1980
ScarGod1980

played it and its awesome,,,,brings many good memories back,,great times

green_abobo
green_abobo

muwahahahahahaha awesome article!!!!

FolkIore
FolkIore

I grew up with the Super Nes and this brought back memories of Double Dragon Battle Toads, that game was AWESOME!!!!!

El_Chavo
El_Chavo

The game is awesome! Great tribute overall. You can tell that it was a labor of love to the NES & many games that made it iconic 25 years ago. @carolynmichelle & @g1rldraco7, there IS an ending & it's epic.

Roger01
Roger01

In the Zelda level if you kill all the enemies in a room they don't come back when you enter the room again, also there's a part where you have to kill all the enemies to open a door. Anyway, great tribute game! And yeah, if SOPA passed this kind of thing would be forbidden =(

xxfrijolxx
xxfrijolxx

I like when gamespot does these retro videos. I miss when Giancarlo use to do his reviews for nes games a few years back. Tom Mcshea is the freakin' Yoda of classic nes games. P.s Mcshea sits on the couch like a good little school boy. Hands and feet together. lol. Makes me laugh.

Adenosine
Adenosine

You know if SOPA/PIPA and other forms of net censorship becomes law, we will never see fan made games anymore. This game will be considered an illegal copy that infringes on numerous copyrights and the people working on it will get in big trouble. Fight net censorship! http://americancensorship.org/

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

@g1rldraco7 It must. There are only eight levels on the level select screen (though there might be some levels after those are done, for all I know), and given how impressive so many aspects of the game are, my guess is that the ending is something special. I hope to beat the game soon.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

That demo was funny. I wonder if the game has an ending.