Dating back to the 1980’s, Lode Runner remains a well-known puzzle game that has a highly addictive reputation. Keeping up with technological advances in the video games industry, Lode Runner has finally made it into the third dimension on Nintendo 64. More importantly, it appears to retain its old school gameplay from the retro period.
While essentially a puzzle title, Lode Runner does have a non-motivating plot line. In this episode, you must travel into Emperor Monk’s Realm, steal all his gold and ultimately eliminate the villain and return to Earth alive. Sound simple? It isn’t. Game levels simply consist of linear paths filled with obstacles that must be traversed to complete. On first impressions, solving a few of the game’s puzzles in the first of five worlds is amazingly simple, and consequently leads you into a false sense of security. It’s at this point you will uncover Lode Runner’s shockingly steep learning curve, as you overwork your brain trying to solve some of the game’s mind-blowing predicaments. Lode Runner is indeed a true 3D experience that incorporates a third-person perspective with highly manipulative camera controls. Because of the high level of viewing options, some of the game’s later levels become extremely complex and confusing. Solving many of these puzzles proves to be a case of trial and error. To make the game more involving, there are a number of pick-ups and utilities that include timed bombs.
So many years on, Lode Runner remains a highly addictive and enjoyable experience. It has all the basic features of a classic game, and that’s what counts.