Microsoft's Games Convention floor space was dominated by music games. It was, after all, the "Xbox 360 Summer of Music" according to the vinyl banner that loomed overhead. But tucked away next to Disney's Sing It! was Lode Runner, the remake of the classic puzzle platformer, announced for Xbox Live Arcade earlier this year. Having played every other Xbox 360-bound offering on hand at events prior, we decided to dig into it.
The rules haven't changed for the hi-def remake of Lode Runner. Collect gold nuggets, using your platforming wits and your rock-crushing gun to negotiate each maze. Avoid getting killed. That's it. It's still a 2D puzzle platformer with a digging mechanic that will probably seem archaic to those ignorant to Lode Runner's classic gameplay, just in higher resolution.
And that's really the only problem. Lode Runner looks and plays just fine, a serviceable 3D coat of paint applied to the exact same game play you might just go mental for. It doesn't do anything fancy with the formula, a la Galaga Legions.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to take the multiplayer modes for a test drive, as the Games Conventioneers were far too interested in easy access to Guitar Hero World Tour.
It really comes down to this — if you adore Lode Runner, here's some more. If you don't know what a Lode Runner is — or you're wisely concerned about how well the Xbox 360's D-pad will suffice — just wait for the demo.