Lode Runner Review
Lode Runner box art
System: X360 (XBLA) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Tozai Games / SouthEnd Int. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 22, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Playing Lastman over LIVE will allow you to play in ranked matches which are tracked on the leaderboards. This game really does an excellent job of bringing players together and fomenting a sense of community. All players will have their stats tracked, and the high scores attained in single-player, co-op, and competitive matches will be constantly sent to the servers for bragging rights.

Lode Runner screenshot

Lode Runner gives players a fine visual and aural package. The game supports 1080i resolution, is rendered in 3D despite the 2D action, and never suffers from any glitches. The character and enemy designs are nothing special, but they are still reminiscent of the game's roots. The five different environments covering jungles, mines, mechanical factories, volcanoes, and icy realms are all nicely depicted. The tunes are quite catchy. The simple electronic riffs are suggestive of a bygone era, fitting nicely with the game's history and lodging themselves squarely in the back of your mind.

Some nice touches to this package include a History tab that gives you a brief timeline concerning key events, facts, and releases of the Lode Runner franchise. Also, this is the most expansive and complex Lode Runner to date. For example, the game packs in 220 levels for you to run through. Additionally, new terrain including avalanche, stalactites, and blast blocks keep gameplay varied. There are also diverse environments and enemies you'll have to take on. There's even a between-level, puzzle-like mini-game where you'll have to collect energy balls in order to add to your life tally. Finally, players will also run into hidden enemies they'll unearth along with buried diamonds.

All of these innovations along with the tons of single-player, cooperative, and competitive modes make this the best and most complete Lode Runner ever. Though the game is a touch on the expensive side when compared to other XBLA titles (1200 MS points), you won't regret spending the $15 for a moment.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The visuals are crisp and endearing, but nothing that will wow you.
Two buttons and a joystick prove to be the perfect setup. Too bad the hand cannons are so slow to respond.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The upbeat electric tunes are a reminder of the days of yore.
Play Value
This game could easily be played for a decade, especially considering all the free downloadable content you can pick up and the multiplayer modes that are available. The only slight knock is that once you commit a levels resolution pattern to memory, it no longer holds any challenge.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Lode Runner legacy: Inspired by the ground-breaking action title, the all-new Lode Runner was recreated block by block for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Just as in the original award-winning game, the new Lode Runner rewards fast, smart and gutsy moves. Preserving the classic style of play was the foundation for creating the definitive Lode Runner experience!
  • Game modes for everyone: Play expansive single-player and co-op Journey campaigns, frantic Hang On survival challenges, complex puzzles, and a four-player Last Man competition that rewards sabotage, revenge, and outright deviousness.
  • No player left behind: Revive a fallen teammate and continue play without penalty in Co-op Journey mode, and avenge an untimely death reborn as an enemy in Last Man matches!
  • New content: Explore five worlds inhabited by unique enemies and featuring special terrain such as avalanche blocks, stalactites, and teleports. Blast blocks with bombs and collect energy balls to add lives. Unearth hidden enemies. Transition from one level to the next seamlessly. Master new co-operative play techniques like blasting blocks while riding on a buddy's head.
  • Level editor and community: Design custom levels for any game mode and environment to challenge your friends. Host Xbox LIVE matches with your own cunning creations or download the coolest custom levels from the Lode Runner community!

  • Screenshots / Images
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