It’s hard to believe that the original Lode Runner hit the scene way back in 1983. The version is a loving recreation of the old game, which features updated graphics and contains a possible limitless variety of puzzle solving levels.

The latest version of Lode Runner is brought to you by Tozai Games and SouthEnd Interactive and for those of you not ancient enough to know this game or the system you could get it on (I had a Commodore 64 yup old skool ,kiddies) is a fast paced puzzle game all about getting’ that gold!  The game can be played as a single played level climber or with a friend (both need to own the game) in co-op mode.

You take control of our stalwart hero, an adventurer with a lust for gold! The games main mode, the Journey Mode contains 80 levels of increasing difficult levels. Get your bling while trying to outrun and outwit a bevy of baddies such as robots, crazed monks, yetis, and other villainous types.  Like most 2-D platforms, you can go left, right up and down, but unlike most you cannot jump, but you do have another ace up your sleeve for that.

In Lode Runner, there are several different bricks that are destructible. How do I blow stuff up, you might ask? Your adventurer comes with a state-of-the-art blaster that can obliterate blocks. You do this by pressing the LB or RB depending on the direction you want to shoot out blocks.  When you shoot out a block, the enemy (be careful you can too) will fall in the hole.  If timed right, the baddie will fall in the hole, the brick will regenerate and he will die a horrible blocky death.  This will buy you a few precious moments to gather some more gold!  When in a hole, you can run right over their heads, as sometimes these greedy buggers will scoop up gold and drop it when they fall in the hole. You will need to master the blaster, because these levels can get tough and one touch from a creature will kill you. To make matters worse, when you die all the gold regenerates and you have to start from scratch. This is very much a think fast, think ahead style game, as bad planning will quickly leave you trapped.

Since this game is very challenging, get use to making mistakes and paying for them.  However, even when feeling frustrated you won’t put this game down, as each time you figure out the pattern and finally clear a stage you get such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, you will lose hours to playing on and on. Get bored or need a break from your journey? Well there is a cool Puzzle game, which does away with evil minions and provides the player with 50 levels of puzzle which can take some serious thought into completing.  Hang On is another game, with baddies that puts you on a random map and as time progresses more and more minions piled onto the level. The goal is to see how much of a gold hoarding streak you can get!

Multiplayer is fun, offering its own variety of levels, forcing you and your partner to work together to complete levels, such as piling onto each to others heads to reach gold, blasting rocks to allow your friend through etc.  The game also offers a fairly in-depth level editor, allowing for limitless new levels to be made by the X-Box community, although I found it a bit difficult to navigate.

The graphics aren’t much to write home about, let’s face it this is basically the same game from 25 years ago (which ain’t to bad!) with a shiny new skin.  They are very crisp and clean, and the characters are well animated. There are 5 environments you can play in (volcanic, mechanical, ruins, mines and frozen) each has its own special type of block and enemy.  Between levels you can collect energy orbs, 3 of which will give you a much needed and thankful extra life. The music is generic and mildly annoying, but the noises of the blaster, and the minions add a nice ambience to the game.

Lode runner on the 360 is like buying a new car. It’s all clean and shiny and has that new car smell, but at the same time is comfortably familiar.  With 80 single player, 48 co-op and 50 puzzle missions, this game will take some time to complete.  This may not bring much new, but that’s OK, Lode runner still has an ol skool charm and a difficulty level that will leave most players satisfied with purchasing this excellent Xbox Live Arcade title.

Final Score: 8.0

Reviewed by John Latimer | 05.24.09

  • Nice and shiny
  • Well animated
  • Excellent tutorials
  • Lots of variety
  • Level editor makes for limitless play
  • Pricey at 1000MS points
  • Annoying music
  • Level editor is difficult to use
  • Co-op is strictly for friends
  • No searching for other random Live players.

Lode Runner

Xbox Live Arcade

Tozai Games
Southend Interactive

Action Puzzle

US Release
May '09


Xbox Live Arcade

Player 1-4
Co-op Multiplayer
HDTV 1080i
Dolby 5.1 Surround
D/L Content
1000 MS Points