Lode Runner Legacy (Tozai Games, Inc.)
From Donkey Kong and Dig Dug to Gauntlet and Gradius, the 1980s were a golden era for classic video-game franchises. One of these franchises is Lode Runner, which was first released for the Apple II in 1983 and quickly moved on to other platforms. Its action-packed, yet puzzle-oriented gameplay made it an instant hit and even people like Alexey Pajitnov counted it amongst their favorite puzzle titles. Although there hasn’t been a shortage of new releases over the years, the last appearance of Lode Runner was back in 2012 on Android and iOS. Thankfully, this is about to change with the upcoming release of Lode Runner Legacy for PC.
As we are huge fans of the original Lode Runner and spent countless hours of our youth not only playing the game, but also messing around with its level editor, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on Legacy. Although there isn’t an official release date yet, we were fortunate enough to try out a preview version of the game and the good news is that it is looking good. Lode Runner Legacy is an update of the original classic where players once again get to play as the iconic “Runner.” This time there are a couple of different game modes and based on what we have played so far the game is sure to keep players busy for ages.
First up is the “Adventure” mode where players must infiltrate the evil empire and avoid enemies while recovering stolen gold. This mode feels exactly like the classic game and is addictive right from the get go. Next up is the “Puzzle” mode where you’ll find plenty of head-scratching level layouts and no enemies. Then there is one of our personal favorites, the “Classic” mode, where you get to play all 150 original levels. Like the rest of the game, the Classic mode also features the brand new Voxel visual style, which is a great match for Lode Runner. In fact, the game can even be played with a first person camera view in all modes, although a 2D viewpoint is also shown on the screen to keep things from becoming too disorienting.
All of this would already have been enough for fans of the Lode Runner franchise, but Tozai Games have taken things a step further. Not only have they included a level editor for creating your own levels, but these can also be saved and shared with other players. User-created levels can be accessed directly from within the game using the “World Levels” feature and we predict that this is something that will add a lot of longevity to the game. Thanks to the Voxel style of the game, it is easy to create levels from scratch very quickly. Thanks to the Voxels, players can also design their own Runner and enemies using the character editor or create custom items instead of gold using the item editor.
We will save the full details for when the full game is released this summer, but it definitely looks like fans of the franchise are not going to be disappointed. Features such as online rankings, more technical bonuses and challenging enemy AI add really enhances the game as does the fact that levels can now be of varying sizes. Check back soon for a full review, but in the meantime use the links to the left to keep an eye on the game and don’t forget to add it to your Steam wishlist.