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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40955)
Written on  :  Jul 25, 2019
Platform  :  Arcade
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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An updated version of a classic puzzle-oriented game

The Good

Lode Runner was a platform game created by Doug E. Smith in 1983. Whereas most platform games at the time relied on precision jumps and movement, Lode Runner was puzzle-oriented. It was also one of the first games to be ported to the arcade after having received numerous home computer ports, courtesy of Irem who licensed the game from Brøderbund Software. This version of the game features 24 remixed levels out of the original game’s 150 levels.

If you are not familiar with the game’s concept, the objective is to get a certain number of gold nuggets while trying to avoid enemies that chase you around the screen. You are equipped with a laser that is used to vaporize any brick walls adjacent to the player, creating holes for anyone to fall through, including yourself.

This is much similar to what the player has to do in Apple Panic, another Brøderbund game; except in that game you have to dig the hole back up. In fact, vaporizing brick walls is essential considering that some enemies will steal gold and you have to get it back to complete the level. One of the enemies will flash to let you know who stole it. You have to complete a level in a certain amount of time, and a warning beep will sound if you are running out.

There are 255 levels you can play through, but once you have finished 24 levels, the game loops back to level one, but at this point the game’s level is still 25. If you manage to complete all 255 levels, the game will crash after that. This is similar to what happens in Pac-Man, but that game glitches out instead. You may be thinking that this information should have been placed in “The Bad” section, but why would you want to play the same levels over and over again?

The enemies come in various forms such as cavemen, spiders, slinkies, and even the robot from Drol. A cut-scene is triggered every three levels and shows the player entering what looks like a huge safe. The game also lets you know what kind of enemies you’ll be up against. The graphics and animations are good. The same transitions that occur between levels make a return, and the enemies behave the same way. I liked watching you climb across the rungs like a monkey, as well as the dance both characters perform when they fall down holes.

Unlike the majority of computer ports, there is background music while you play, and it is the same no matter what level you’re on. It is memorable, and it blends with the overall theme of the game. Apart from that, another piece is heard while the cut-scene plays.

The Bad

There is nothing bad about this game.

The Bottom Line

Lode Runner is one of the few games out there that made its debut on home systems before making its way into the arcades. As a result, this version of the game is much better in terms of quality. The game mechanics are still intact, but the 24 levels of the original game are remixed, background music has been added, and cut-scenes are introduced. In my opinion, this is a version worth playing. It must have been a success, because there are three arcade sequels.