Lode Runner

Graphics: 2
Sound: 2
Control: 3
Depth: 4
Overall: 3

Lode Runner

By: Doug Smith & Dane Bigham
Published By: Broderbund
Released: 1983

Lode Runner is a classic 8-bit computer game that slipped through the cracks during my youth. Revisiting it now, the simple concept seems a bit dated. Nevertheless, it can still be addicting.

Your goal is to collect the gold on each level and escape. With enemies chasing after you, your only defense is to dig holes that fill in after a second or two. If you "fill in" an enemy, they repopulate at the top of the screen.

The graphics and sound are nothing to write home about, but they get the job done. With over 100 levels of varying difficulty, there is almost too much game to be had. There is a nice balance of action and puzzle, and solving the boards is fun in short bursts.

A solid game that's missing "that certain something" that would make it great by today's standards. But if you are a fan of early 8-bit computer games, you really should try it.

-Ben Langberg

Postscript: Avoid the NES and Gameboy versions. They zoom in the action limiting the viewing area, which makes it difficult to keep track of the enemies.