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Lode Runner (PC Booter)

Written by  :  Olivier Masse (421)
Written on  :  Aug 31, 1999
Platform  :  PC Booter

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Summary

Another variant of the "ladder" theme with customizable levels.

The Good

Action was at the center of this game. While Big Top had a slow and dull pace, this one was more satisfying as you were able to fool the bad guys at will by trapping them in the holes you burned in the ground. Thus, instead of simply fleeing them, you were able to trap them. The action was fast enough considering the speed the good old 4.77 Mhz PC was able to offer.

Although a "ladder" game was nothing original back then, there was one special thing this game had: customizable levels. If you ever found that the 150 standard levels were not good enough, you were able to edit your own levels and save them on disk. This might not sound so hot today, but it was the first graphic game that I've personnaly been able to edit myself. This added a lot of pleasure and value.

The Bad

Alhough the game was not bad, it was yet another one based on ladders and small men running everywhere. As it has been the case with 3D shooters for many years now, this style of game have been used ad nauseam in the early 80s and it was harder and harder to be original. No wonder Pac-Man has been such a hit not long afterwards.

The Bottom Line

A traditionnal ladder-and-layer game where you must flee or trap bad guys coming to get you while collecting items that will let you enter the next level. What is particular with this one is the ability to "modify" the layers by burning holes through them (thus avoiding the ladders) and creating your own levels.

Sierra published a remake a few years ago which had full-blown graphics and music. I tried the demo and it was not bad, although I would have waited for the game to be in a bargain bin before buying it.