Happy 30th birthday to Lode Runner! To celebrate its birthday, Tozai Games released a MOGA-enhanced version of Lode Runner Classic on Android devices, which is now available in the Google Play store. The arcade action classic has all-new features and graphics, 150 levels, and redesigned gameplay mechanics for players to experience while playing it with a MOGA controller.
“When the first Lode Runner came out on the Apple II, the last thing I expected was that the game would be alive and kicking on a platform as advanced as today’s smartphones more than 30 years later. It’s really gratifying to me that so many people are still interested in the game.” said Douglas E. Smith, Original Creator, in a press release.
2013 is clearly gonna be the year of the retro gamer.
More and more games from earlier eras are making reappearances on handheld devices. Lode Runner Classic is one that evokes thoughts of old wine in new skin.
Lode Runner Classic was beautifully rendered in its original classic 8-bit glory, what with the collection of gold bars being the name of the game. Additionally, I had to avoid enemy guards and use blasters. It came together as a cute puzzler from yester-years as it closely followed the original script.
The color was basic, but in this case, that was fantastic; expect to see the blueish block formations of the original, with irregular caverns and paths intersected by white ladders and suspension cable. My stick figure traveled around, collecting gold, and trying to avoid getting stuck, or falling prey to the guards. To facilitate movement, I could use blasters to bore holes into the ground on either side of me; I could use the holes created to help in my movements, or, as part of advanced strategy, to trap the bad guys. Now, a big part of the game is that not all blue parts can be bored; solid “bedrock” pieces were impermeable to drilling. Also, the rock that could be blasted regenerated, which was lethal to folks (myself or guards) that got caught in a newly created hole or pathway too long. The guards, when not coming after me, actively tried to steal the gold.
The game looked deceptively simple, but invites strategy. Speed, dexterity and problem-solving are all needed to succeed. With some thought, it is possible to create traps to liberate gold that had already been confiscated by guards. I liked the different control options (joystick, touch or accelerometer) and the optional game speeds. There are also social leaderboards and action tutorials.
One element I wished it had was the ability to make your own maze; a community-driven repository of sorts would be exceptionally cool.
Lode Runner Classic boasts 150 different levels, so there is plenty of fun to be had. It is a compelling game that clearly transcends time.