The plot begins with Abobo's son, Aboboy, being kidnapped by a gang, mirroring the introduction of Double Dragon. Shortly after, Abobo arrives and discovers Aboboy missing. He begins to tear up, then sets off to rescue Aboboy.
The first stage is called "Double Drabobo", and is themed after Double Dragon. Abobo fights his way through enemies before confronting the stage boss; after the fight, a forklift filled with explosives enters the scene, explodes, and knocks Abobo into a prison cell inside of a pit.
Inside the pit, Abobo waits for some time before a series of mishaps with the prison toilet results in him being flushed. He comes out of the pipe in the "Super Mabobo" stage, which is themed after the underwater stages from Super Mario Bros. Abobo swims through "Super Mabobo", eventually slaying a giant shark called Big Daddy, and enters another pipe that deposits him in the next stage, "Urban Chabobo".
The Urban Champion attacks Abobo, but is unable to injure him. After a short battle, Abobo kills the Urban Champion and enters a manhole. The manhole drops Abobo into the next stage, "Zeld Abobo", which is themed after a dungeon from The Legend of Zelda. Abobo fights his way through the enemies, then battles the Old Man.
After executing the Old Man, Abobo finds Aboboy. After a tearful reunion, this Aboboy reveals himself to be The Amazon in disguise; Amazon laughs at Abobo, flips him the bird, and then takes off on a jetpack. Abobo finds a pair of balloons and inflates them, rising into the air into the next stage, "Balloon Abobo", based on the game Balloon Fight. In this stage, Abobo must avoid enemies until he catches up to the Amazon. Eventually, the Amazon's jetpack runs out of fuel and the two plummet to the ground below.
Abobo lands in "Pro Wrabobo", based on the game Pro Wrestling, and faces off against the Amazon in a wrestling tournament. After defeating The Amazon, Abobo grabs him, leaps to stratospheric heights, then powerbombs the Amazon into the ground with such force that the explosion levels "Pro Wrabobo" and reveals a hole leading to the next stage.
Abobo drops into the hole and becomes "Mega Mabobo", proceeding through a stage patterned after the Mega Man games. The stage boss of Mega Mabobo is a robot double of Abobo called Mechabobo; upon being defeated, Mechabobo enters an error state and prints out a message indicating that Aboboy was taken through the Jungle.
Abobo enters the Jungle stage, called "Contrabobo", and plays through two Contra-themed levels until meeting the boss of the stage, Kirby, which is seen as gigantic and is the first and final boss of the whole section . After Abobo defeats Kirby, he vomits out all of the things he had previously eaten, including Jerome "Doc" Louis from the Punch-Out!! series. Doc reveals that the real villain is his former pupil, Little Mac, who went mad with power after winning the championship.
Doc trains Abobo to fight Little Mac, and they meet in the final stage, "Punch-Abobo", which is based on Punch-Out!! for the NES. After a difficult fight, Abobo finally defeats Little Mac. Using his ultimate Rage Attack, Abobo summons the Power Glove (an AVGN reference) and decapitates Mac with a dramatic slow-motion punch. The severed head of Little Mac appears flying over and through several other NES games before finally coming to rest on a flagpole from Super Mario Bros.
Aboboy is lowered into the ring by a rope, and he and Abobo enjoy a tearful reunion. The reunion is short-lived, however, as moments later, Abobo and Aboboy leap into the crowd and begin killing and mutilating classic NES characters from the audience, laughing maniacally.
In the end, a scene showing that the entire game was a dream of Abobo's (a reference to Super Mario Bros. 2) plays, along with the credits.
The player's objective in Abobo's Big Adventure is to proceed through different levels of the game using Abobo from Double Dragon to rescue his son, Aboboy. The game itself is split into eight different sub-games that follow one another, each an homage to a particular game: "Double Drabobo", "Super Mabobo", "Urban Chabobo", "Zeld Abobo", "Balloon Abobo"/"Pro Wrabobo", "Mega Mabobo", "Contra Bobo", and "Punch Abobo". Each game makes use of the directional keys to control the movement of the character, while the 'A' and 'S' keys perform functions related to the particular sub-game, such as punching and kicking respectively. With the exception of "Contra Abobo" under a specific circumstance, each sub-game is single-player only.
Development on the game was started in 2002 by I-Mockery founder Roger Barr, who intended it to be his first full-length flash-based game and to feature his favorite NES character, Abobo. Working with a programmer nicknamed "Bane", they put together several early levels. However the game was delayed by various side projects, including a game with a similar concept named "Domo-Kun's Angry Smashfest". He later returned to the game with the help of developers Nick Pasto of PestoForce and "Pox" of The Pox Box, and after mapping out the storyline decided to start the project over from scratch in 2006 due to dissatisfaction with the early work, and the feel that the original programming strayed too far from the feel of an actual NES.
Level development was done by playing NES titles and taking notes on which characters they wished to include and where. Rather than have each level feature just one group of enemies from the same game, they would instead act as a tribute for the system as a whole and feature a variety of them. During the course of development, smaller projects were also done in order to keep themselves motivated and meet financial obligations. By 2009, the first three levels of the game were completed and revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con, playable with a NES controller as originally intended. With the game well-received, they resumed work, using feedback from the test to fix bugs and issues, and in 2010 presented the game at the following Comic-con in a free-to-play arcade cabinet, with artwork made by Jeff Bandelin of Newgrounds.
Though the game was delayed heavily in 2011, they intended to release it at the end of December. In September of that year, Barr took the game with him on a comedy tour he was invited to attend with Keith Apicary, showcasing it at various arcades and game shops. An official trailer followed shortly after, and in response to numerous donations they had received, they began work on a smaller game called "Aboboy's Small Adventure" for anyone who donated, though it pushed the release date for the completed project further. On January 11, 2012 the game was released on Newgrounds.com, with an added tutorial explaining how to play the game with a NES controller. A downloadable version of the game has also been released, while the team plans to continue to showcase the arcade cabinet at various conventions.
The game was positively received at its release. GameSpy praised their work, calling it the "mother of all 8-bit homage flash videogames" Mexican magazine Cine Premiere called it fun, and a good way to re-live the nostalgia of 8- and 16-bit video games. GameZone described it as "part parody and part tribute" to the NES, further calling its story "not cheesy. Instead, it's all kinds of badass." Eurogamer.it called it a "serious contender for [Game of the Year] 2012" and "The final tribute to the NES", further describing it as both well made and very difficult. Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Adam Smith stated that while the combination of various sprite styles could be reminiscent of various webcomics, the game was created with the original influences in mind, not just the characters. He further added that it was a "well designed series of tiny games that more often than not succeed in capturing the pleasures of the originals". Wired called it "8-bit parody done right", further praising it for deviating from similar titles by offering more than simplified graphics and sounds, and that "the fearlessness with which it mocks these age-old heroes portrays an almost tangible love for them at the same time". 1UP.com editors Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey both praised the game as well, with Parish questioning whether it blurred the line between "parody and appropriation [...] you could make a case for it being a Dada-ist expression", while Mackey asserted he still felt it was parody, but that the controls for each aspect of the game had been replicated "dead on." GameSpot praised the game saying "It's a labor of love that's jam-packed with a staggering number of pitch-perfect references to NES games. 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."
On July 12, 2013, it was announced that Abobo's Big Adventure had won the Newgrounds 2012 "Game of the Year" award.
Yoshihisa Kishimoto, creator of Double Dragon, have stated in a Polygon interview that he was supportive and loved the game.