Saturday, April 14

Review: Lode Runner Legacy [Nintendo Switch eShop]

As someone who has been playing video games since their humble beginnings I’ve been thrilled to see the retro gaming movement get rolling in the indie space. There are most definitely older titles whose memory has stuck with me through the years and that I’d love to either play again outright or in a more modernized form. Lode Runner Legacy is very much a game in that vein, taking a series that was on a wide variety of platforms (and quite popular), and giving it a facelift. While I have no doubts this is exciting news for many, for me it is a reminder of games I was somewhat indifferent to back when they were originally released and modernization hasn’t made any more fundamentally exciting.

Starting with the basics Lode Runner is a bit of a puzzle action game where your goal is to complete stages by first grabbing all of the gold and then making your way out via a ladder to the next level. The only ability you have to help you out is that you can knock out the floor blocks to your left or right, and these limits set the stage for the construction of the levels you’ll need to figure out. Rather that being able to directly attack your enemies you’ll need to be clever and knock out the floor to trap them, though you’ll need to keep on the move since that’s only going to be temporary. One thing worth noting is that you can easily grab all of the gold and leave yourself no way to get out of the level if you aren’t careful, so planning is always in order.

If you buy into the relatively simple hook of this scheme, and all of the challenges that are derived from it, there’s an absolute avalanche of content in Legacy for you to enjoy. You’ll have the over 100 levels of the Adventure (with enemies) and Puzzle (no enemies) modes, 150 levels from the classic games themselves, some co-op levels for you and a friend, and then levels made by the community as well. I’d say that the last item is probably the most notable as you’ll have the ability to construct levels of your own to share and the options here can really allow you to flex your creativity, not just designing the levels, but being able to create your own version of the hero and enemies in a voxel editor as well. This is, no doubt, a great value added feature and can theoretically make the potential for content unlimited.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the developers have pulled out every stop to make Lode Runner Legacy something special. The game’s look is both classic and modern at once, and the inclusion of the level and voxel editors and community support are great modern touches. The underlying question, though, is whether or not you find the fundamentals of the Lode Runner play style compelling or not. If you do, this is probably a must-buy game since I don’t think anything more could be done with that base, but if the appeal of the series is limited no amount of value added effort will redeem it.

Score: 7.5

  • A great voxel look that is both modern and classic
  • Over 100 modern, 150 classic, some co-op, and then community-created levels provide for a ton of content
  • The level and voxel editors are a great touch

  • If you don’t enjoy the basic rules of the game no amount of content will redeem it
  • The editors can be a bit cumbersome to use