First debuting in 1983, Lode Runner was one of the first platformers to challenge what gamers thought a platformer was through its puzzle-driven style. The game has also historically been interested in creating more features for the player as they were one of the first to include level creation in their games.
Now after 34 years, Lode Runner Legacy by Tozai Games promises to bring back not only the classic Lode Runner, but also introduce a new adventure mode featuring a modernized Runner with a whole new set of levels. The well loved level creator is still included and levels can now be uploaded and shared with Lode Runner enthusiasts around the world. In addition, there is now an item and character creator. A puzzle mode has also been implemented for those who really love a challenge.
The gameplay is pretty simple with only the joystick and B to shoot. The difficulty and fun comes from trying to solve the puzzles and avoid various enemies. The level creator has a surprising amount of customizability. The item and character creator, however, require a little more skill and pixel knowhow.
The only problem I had with this game was the inconsistency when toggling through menus and other on screen options. Sometimes the controller could be used and sometimes only the mouse and keyboard would work. This made switching game modes or even the blaster’s side of attack a little clunky feeling. This thankfully does not at all get in the way of actual gameplay, which is quite smooth once you accept the fact that you cannot jump. Another feature of the game I did not feel was that successful was the FPS camera as I felt that it was super awkward to control and I just ended up looking at the minimap to maneuver the level. I will also say that the AI did seem a little silly at times and seemed to get caught on the ladders as they all tried to climb at once.
Another really nice feature for fans of the game or fans of older games is that all the classic levels are automatically unlocked. I feel that the gamemakers really tried to adhere to what makes this game so well loved. I think that the new game style really brings out the best of nostalgia and modern gaming. I also really enjoyed the varying level sizes and different enemy difficulties and types. I felt all of these components kept the game engaging.
Overall, I would say that as far as remakes go, Lode Runner Legacy gets a lot of things right. They brought back everything that was loved and added to the experience without taking anything away. This is a game both nostalgia seekers and platform/puzzle-loving gamers can enjoy. Lode Runner still succeeds in bringing the best of both puzzles and action gameplay. I believe that this is the type of game even casual gamers can get enjoyment out of and is well worth the price.
Here is the Lode Runner Legacy trailer:
Lode Runner Legacy is now available for PC on Steam at a special launch price of $15.99 until today, July 20th, before returning to its regular price of $19.99.