In this original version of the all-time classic Lode Runner, you're a gold-digging hero trapped underground in a maze-like structure filled with deadly Bungelings. Armed with a drilling laser that can be aimed one square to the left or right, you dig holes in which to trap your pursuers (who will leave any stolen gold on the surface). The holes you dig reseal themselves shortly afterward, and the trick is to dig a trail of holes that will seal themselves right on top of the Bungelings -- or, if you're not careful, on top of you. If eliminated, a Bungeling will be replaced by a new one elsewhere on the screen. Care must be taken to not cut off your escape routes to ladders or overhead ropes that connect the various platforms. Once all of the gold is recovered, an escape route to the next (and more difficult) level presents itself.
Lode Runner, which has been translated in one form or another for almost every platform since its debut (including the Game Boy, PlayStation and Nintendo 64), has that perfect balance of easy play mechanics and a difficulty level which, while not discouraging, isn't easy. This version of the game also featured a utility allowing players to create their own levels or series of levels to be saved to a separate floppy. This was a truly cool and compelling feature which often yielded some unique variations on the game, ranging from incredibly easy (to see how high a score could be achieved) to something vastly more difficult than the game's built-in mazes. Several later permutations of Lode Runner jettisoned this feature, abandoning one of the original game's most interesting options.
On the Apple II, Lode Runner managed to sidestep the inherent graphics shortfalls of the hardware by keeping it simple, and even the sound was more than adequate, providing players with plenty of audio clues about the action around them. To this day, it's still more fun than some of the modern-day rehashes. ~ Earl Green, All Game Guide
|Lode Runner||Commodore 64/128|
|Lode Runner||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Lode Runner||Apple II|
|Lode Runner||Atari 400/800/XL/XE|
|Lode Runner [Virtual Console]||Wii|
|# of Alternating Players||2|