£9.95 cass, £12.95
O Classic panic game with forgettable graphics,
150 different screens and you can create your
in the Bungeling Empire lies a fortune in gold, stolen
by power hungry leaders and guarded by enemy soldiers.
Luckily, a highly trained Galactic commando such as
yourself, is on hand to recover every single ingot from
the massive and perplexing underground caverns.
are 150 screens of Panic style action in this
game, the difference being there's a lot more panic.
Each screen consists of a number of gold chests scattered
about, which you must collect to move onto the next
level, but they are protected in devious ways. Some
are embedded in seemingly impenetrable brick, others
by apparently uncrossable gaps.
there are ladders of various length joining any platform
formations. Horizontal bars of differing length are
also usually present, and you can swing your way along
these, hand over hand.
some screens there are hidden trap doors to fall through.
They look exactly the same as normal, diggable brick,
but have the annoying property of being where you least
expect or want them. Thankfully, they appear at the
same place on the same screens, so if your memory's
good . . . .
the chests is not so easy, though. A group of guards
patrol the screen, all after your blood, and are far
more intelligent than your average alien. These guards
occasionally pick up a chest for themselves and must
be tricked to falling into pits, which you dig with
your laser drill pistol. Any gold carried by them will
then be released for you to pick up.
. . . . .Up and down for
a lode of loot
and the guards for that matter, can fall any distance
without dying. This proves useful should you become
surrounded, as you can dig a hole and fall through it
to the next level of platforms. But beware, some bricks
of the screens have been designed with the utmost cunning
and prove difficult and enjoyable to play. The facility
exists to make your own equally baffling screens of
action, should the present set become at all tiresome
are also a wide range of gameplay options. Keyboard
or joystick control is accessible at any time throughout
the game. If all is lost and your man is trapped without
any means of death or escape, then there is an option
to abort that particular life.
possible to alter the overall game speed, pause, and
restart the game. You can toggle the direction that
you dig (either in front or behind you), or terminate
the current game should you get too annoyed with your
are also two cheat options with which you can add additional
lives or advance levels. However, should you resort
to using either, you won't be registered on the high
own specially-edited screen.
And it is MEAN to play!
all these overwhelmingly good points, it seems difficult
to fault Lode Runner in any way. Nevertheless,
the sound and graphics must be criticised for their
crudeness and simplicity, and the loading of levels
for its laborious technique.
sound consists of little other than a few quirky tunes
on completing levels, and some bloops and beeps thrown
in for good measure during the game.
sprites used are nothing more than stick men, about
a character square high. But they are in fact well animated.
Bricks, blocks, ladders, and bars, are all as simple
as the sprites. Even the colour scheme is plain, consisting
of a mere four colours.
150 levels are stored in blocks of roughly 16 screens
and need to be loaded from side two of the tape (The
main program is on side one and must be loaded first).
This proves to be an annoying way of doing things, especially
if you get to a high level, die, and want to play again
-- you have to rewind the tape back to the beginning
and reload the first levels.
the game doesn't lose out because of these niggles --
it's got playability, hookability, and most of all,