Lode Runner

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In Lode Runner online you are a highly trained Galactic Commando deep in enemy territory. Power hungry leaders of the repressive Bungeling Empire have stolen a fortune in gold from peace loving people, and you have just discovered their underground treasury. Your aim in life is to recover every single ingot.

So Software Proj describe this manic arcade game with over 150 different screens, and a customising facility for you to design your own screens and save them to tape.

In fact, what we have here is a mammoth “Space Panic” style game where the traditional digging function is actually an important part of the overall strategy. The screens are made up of numerous variations on the theme of brick blocks, ladders and bars, with the gold stacked here and there, often in seemingly inaccessible places. The Bugeling agents swarm all over the place after you, with one disadvantage – they can’t leap up large blocks – but then neither can you. What you can do is dig holes to get at the in accessible gold too, and the longest possible fall does not kill you off.

A nasty touch is that the holes heal themselves after a while, and as you can’t jump out of them like the nasties, you get concretised in! This factor is important on screens where the gold is deeply buried under brick, as you can only dig a hole through a layer if there is more than one block missing on the layer above it. This means having to dig out several blocks length in order to have the room to dig downwards for three or four blocks. Meanwhile they are filling in above you and the nasties are leaping down on top of you.

Because of the huge number of screens, there are 75 on one side of the tape and 75 on the second side. Access to any playing screen is available – they don’t expect you to wade through all of them to complete the game!

Lode Runner online is evidence that you don’t need mega graphics to make a great game, just a good idea. All of the graphics in this game are small, one character size, and don’t have all sorts of decoration. But the game is great fun to play. It has a high strategic element in determining the best way to get the goodies and escape. I found it both playable and addictive. The men, although smooth, moved nicely, running, jumping, climbing and swinging in true commando style. An edit and save facility is provided so you can invent your own situations when you are fed up with the 150 screens already there.

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