While it's sporting fancy new voxel graphics, the heart of Lode Runner Legacy is the same satisfying gameplay that made creator Douglas E. Smith's prototypical puzzle platformer one of the greatest games of the '80s. Lode Runner's still got it.
Lode Runner Legacy, released this week on Steam by Tozai Games, is the latest in a long line of sequels and remakes of the 1983 classic. One of the better ones, it keeps the core gameplay more or less intact. Players are tasked with collecting the gold on each level while avoiding enemies. They can move left and right, climb and dig.
Working with this limited moveset, the player must dig and climb their way through a series of adventure and puzzle levels, avoiding strange creatures and trying to keep from putting themselves into inescapable situations, such as digging a hole they can't get out of.
The graphics are fancy and new, but the gameplay is simple and pure. I dig it.
For players yearning for the aesthetics of old, there's a classic mode that replicates the original look with tiny voxels.
And it wouldn't be a Lode Runner game without a level editor. The 1983 original was one of the first games that allowed players to create and share their own game levels. Lode Runner Legacy includes such a tool, with the ability to share their constructs online.
Mario Maker the Precursor Legacy.
The best thing about Lode Runner Legacy is that at its heart it's just good old Lode Runner. Three and a half decades later, Doug Smith's game is still pure gold.