Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Battle Lode Runner

Battle Lode Runner was never released in America, and was the first import VC title. Don't be fooled, however, we've had Lode Runner in the States for some time. Like most puzzle games, the gameplay is simple and addictive. You play as a "runner" sent through time to dig holes and collect piles of gold. Oddly, the worlds you explore are composed entirely of blocks, ladders, and ropes. You can't run or jump, but you can dig holes left and right, trapping enemies and (often) killing yourself in the process. But the unintentional suicides are part of the game's charm.

While the gameplay is simple, the game provides enough modes to warrant the $6.00 price tag. You've got puzzle mode, which are levels in which you must collect all the gold, then haul ass up a ladder to the next level. With 100 stages, this is an extremely long game! Then there's battle mode, where up to 5 players can battle (bots will sub in for missing players if you live and play video games by yourself). Powerups appear in this mode, and it's a lot of fun. The only downside is that you can only battle on 5 or so stages, and not the 100 levels from story-mode, which would have given the game near-infinite replay value. There are various battle modes, including survival and tag. I've haven't delved too deeply into either of these others modes yet. Finally, there is Edit mode, that's right, you can create up to 10 stages to play through, though you can't battle on them. I'm always a sucker for level editors, and this one is fantastic. Easier to use than Brawl's, and they don't limit the amount of items you can place on the map.

And that's it. Overall, it's nothing too spectacular (though the "Asian-theme" song is). That said, it's more addicting than it should be. Save your money if you have an XBox360, because you'll be getting a better Lode Runner game this year, otherwise consider click-buying this title if you think you'd like it.

Finally, thanks for the replies when I considered closing the site. I've decided to keep it open, because, hey, doing this shit is fun as hell. 8-Bit City is here to stay. Leave a comment!