Superb old-school platform fun
Lode Runner stands as a classic arcade platformer, and remains an fine example of the genre, mixing as it does fast-paced and exciting action with puzzle elements to create a near perfect retro experience. Both the game and story are simple enough, with the background material neatly setting the scene for what follows, and which basically requires players to recover lost treasures from the treasury of the treacherous empire which stole them. This translates into a series of 2D fixed-screen levels where the player must climb ladders and avoid enemies and other pitfalls, while collecting the treasure as they go. You can dig holes to set traps for the guards which adds a nice element of strategy to the game, while the ultimate aim is to get all the gold then reach the top of the screen in order to move to the next level. For anyone who is a fan of classic arcade titles like Bubble Bobble, the original Mario Bros or Donkey Kong, then Lode Runner is a must play. The action is fast and frenetic, requiring both swift reflexes and quick thinking, with the advanced enemy AI really keeping players on their toes. The puzzle aspect of the game is well integrated into proceedings, while the controls are slick, fluid and highly responsive, making precision jumps and moves a breeze. The graphics and sound are of course nothing special, but the animation is smooth enough and Lode Runner retains that old-school charm. Despite its age, the gameplay is still near perfect, thanks to inventive level design which proves maddeningly addictive. Check out the sequel, Lode Runner 2 or Lode Runner Online for more inventive fun.