Lode Runner

Publisher: Software Projects
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #12

Lode Runner

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 the peace loving people, and you have just discovered their underground treasury. Your aim in life is to recover every single ingot.

So Software Projects 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 '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 hoists for them to fall into, out of which they spring after a few seconds. You can dig holes to get at the inaccessible gold too, and the longest possible fall does not kill you off.

Lode Runner

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 rf 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!


Control keys: user definable, preset are: O/Z up/down, I/P t left/right, N to dig holes
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: highly responsive
Use of colour: simple on the whole, but very good
Graphics: small, mean as hell and well animated
Sound: not much, but doesn't spoil the game
Skill levels: 1, but it seems to get more difficult as you go along
Lives: 4 to kick off with
Screens: 150
Special features: you can design your own screens via the editor and save them to tape

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