Main
Features
 FOTD
 HasCon 2017
 SDCC 2017
 Toy Fair 2017
 SDCC 2016
 Toy Fair 2016
 SDCC 2015
 Toy Fair 2015
 SDCC 2014
 C2E2 2014
 Toy Fair 2014
 SDCC 2013
 C2E2 2013
 Toy Fair 2013
 SDCC 2012
 C2E2 2012
 Toy Fair 2012
 NYCC 2011
 SDCC 2011
 Toy Fair 2011
Archives
 Books
 DVD
 Music
 Statues
 Prop Replicas
 Toys
 Video Games
Credits
Contact



Favorite Links:
16bit Tumblr
16bit Twitter
ASM
Awesome Toy Blog
Battle Beasts
Battlegrip.com
Doomkick
EE Podcast
Galactic Hunter
Glyos News
OSM News
Parry Game Preserve
Shortpacked
Toyfinity

Lode Runner Tozai Games, Microsoft Xbox 360 Live Arcade, April 2009

Lode Runner from Tozai Games
Title
Publisher
Year
Players
Price
Lode Runner
Tozai Games
2009
1-2
$15 (1,200 MS points)
Pain is the name of the game for Lode Runner. In this package, you get a fair amount of game for your money, in particular because the puzzles are quite difficult. There are over 200 stages included, many of which are multiplayer only. If that isn't enough, the game has a built-in level editor which allows you to create and trade puzzles with your friends online. There are also a couple of gamerpics to unlock in addition to the standard 12 achievements for 200 gamerscore points.

Control & Gameplay

You can use the sticks or the d-pad to move your guy, meaning the game is just as playable with an arcade stick as a standard controller. We're not sure if the dude has a name, but he can shoot down and to the right or down and to the left while standing, running, or climbing. He can't jump, and thankfully, he won't die if he falls from a great height. If you've never played a Lode Runner game before, or haven't touched one for more than 20 years, you'll be able to figure this one out in less than 15 minutes. (The control, mind you, not the puzzles.)

When you shoot, depending on the floor squares, you can dig a hole for enemies to fall into or for your player to fall through. The gameplay is basically find gold, run, repeat. Get all the gold and head for the exit, and you're a winner! Of course, these hairy monsters and ghoulish characters are always chasing you, and they'll even stop and wait for you to move so they can counter you accordingly. While not the most clever villains ever, these distinctive characters are quite capable of staying still until you get close enough for them to run at you as you climb a ladder, for example.

Graphics & Sound

While the company's previous game R-Type Dimensions used classic music and let you switch between modern or 1980s-style graphics, Lode Runner keeps you in the modern era with its 3D-rendered 2D levels with new music. There's a nice variety of music that sounds sort of what like you might assume the original game to have sounded like if the classic Apple computer's sound card wasn't, by modern standards, junk.

One feature we found to be distracting while watching other players play was a sort of a slight sway in the screen, the whole stage tends to move ever-so-slightly as you go through the caverns, ruins, and icy mountains. When focused on the running and the stealing of gold, you really won't notice this-- but as you see someone else play it's pretty obvious.

Due to the level designs, it seems that this game would be difficult to play on a standard-definition CRT television. The characters can get pretty small, so be thankful you can confirm how they look for yourself when you download the free demo.


Multiplayer

We were unable to test the online multiplayer due to lack of opponents/companions to be found when we were playing.

However, we did manage to try out the local puzzles, which are quite devious. The monsters seem to go after similarly colored players, so the red beast will chase the red player. You absolutely need to talk to one another, as these special levels were designed to use another playable character to finish them. You might need to stand on someone else's head, and there's also a tag-team system in place to revive a character after they're killed off. It's a great time, but unsurprisingly difficult.

Extras

While it isn't unusual for retro collections to incorporate background materials on the game's history, it's pretty uncommon for a single game, in particular if it's a downloadable title. The game offers several pages of Lode Runner history, which really shows off how long this game has been around and how successful it's been. The trivia is particularly notable, after all, who knew that Lode Runner was the first-ever third-party game on the Nintendo Famicom? Not us.

A Level Editor is also included, although there's enough content included with the game that it almost seems like overkill. It's fairly easy to make your own level if you're the crafty type, but it might be a while until there's a good amount of community-generated stages to snag. It's certainly no LittleBigPlanet, but it's nice to see a game developer trying to give fans a way to continue breathing life into the game without resorting to charging for additional stage packs a few months down the road. Odds are you won't have much of a use for this feature unless you positively adore the game to the extent that it becomes your favorite. I suppose that might be possible.

Is it worth buying?

RATING
B+
TRY IT
PROBABLY. But try the demo first, odds are you'll like it if you like older games. The gameplay is easy to pick up and a lot of fun, plus this is a rare old-school run-and-collect-things 2D fun-time jamboree. They don't make them like this anymore, and Tozai tends to take special care to make sure the graphics and sound not only fit the game, but seem totally in place with the tastes of modern gamers.

The entire package-- between the multiple modes, many stages, and level editor-- has plenty to keep you busy if you enjoy the gameplay. Unless you're a puzzle genius, the game will likely keep you busy in snippets for weeks. It's an enjoyable game for short or long sessions, and while I did not complete all the puzzles as of press time, I keep going back to play it just because it's a fun-- if frustrating-- time. Finishing this one will likely give you a real sense of accomplishment.

--Adam Pawlus
May 19, 2009

Other Links

Game Reviews

Nintendo Wii
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
 Main Game
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
 Homestar Ruiner
 Strong Badia the Free
 Baddest of the Bands
 Dangeresque 3
 8-Bit Is Enough

PSP
 Kurulin Fusion
 Thexder Neo

Xbox 360
 Battleship
 Bubble Bobble Neo
 Bust-A-Move Live!
 Comic Jumper
 Connect 4
 Encleverment Experiment
 G.I. Joe: ROC
 Gel: Set & Match
 Hard Corps: Uprising
 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
 Lode Runner
 Mega Man 9
 Puzzle Quest Galactrix
 Qix++
 R-Type Dimensions
 Scrabble
 Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
 Space Invaders Extreme
 Space Invaders Infinity Gene
 Splosion Man
 Trivial Pursuit
 Yahtzee
 Zombie Apocalypse
 Zombie Wranglers
Walking Dead
 Episode 1
Wallace & Gromit
 Fright of the Bumblebees
 The Last Resort
  Muzzled!
 The Bogey Man

GameBoy
 GameBoy Advance SP Famicom Color

Saturn
 Salamander Deluxe Pack Plus

16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal.
We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.