The 80s; the decade that brought us MTV, David Bowie’s crotch and also apparently Lode Runner. After countless sequels, spin-offs and attempts at reinvention, Lode Runner Legacy arrives, offering the most comprehensive iteration of the game to date with multiple modes, local coop, creation tools and a seemingly infinite number of playable levels, all brought together with a charming voxel art style.
Legacy’s adventure mode does a great job of familiarising you with the game’s simple yet nuanced mechanics while steadily introducing new enemies and block types across its 50 increasingly complex level layouts. Your goal in each stage is simple; collect all the gold pieces to unlock your escape route. However, unable to jump and only capable of breaking blocks to the lower left or right of you, navigating each space becomes a matter of planning your route before strategically deconstructing it brick-by-brick while being careful to avoid roaming guards.
While early stages offer little in the way of challenge, later levels place you at the heart of vast mazes, requiring you make considered use of ladders, overheads climbing bars and your brick-breaking ability in various combinations to outsmart enemies and traverse each labyrinthine level. Once you’ve gathered all the gold, toppled the empire and freed the people in Adventure Mode’s loosely plotted campaign, Legacy still holds a wealth of content to get stuck into.
Extra Mode bolsters your adventure with 20 more levels, introducing new enemy types who can drill through or blow up the environment, forcing you to adopt fresh approaches to tried and true tactics. Puzzle Mode foregoes enemies altogether, placing the onus of negotiating through tricky level configurations while trying your best not to get yourself trapped between blocks. These 50 puzzle levels, in particular, were some of my favourites; their focus on the pure process of methodically deconstructing a level without the pressure of being pursued resulted in some of my most gratifying runs.
Further fleshing out this already generous package are all 150 levels of the original 1983 game as well as a 30 stage two-player mini-campaign which makes for some brief couch co-op fun. Combined, these 300 built-in levels offer an exhaustive library to work through, however, thanks to Legacy’s online community, these are simply the tip of the iceberg.
Noted for being one of the first games to include a level-editor, Lode Runner Legacy continues its predecessor’s tradition with an intuitive set of tools for constructing not only your own stages but characters and objects too. While I had fun trying my hand at composing my own level — and crafting some rather obscene objects — exploring the fruits of other more creative and dedicated players proved a lot more enjoyable whilst adding seemingly infinite playability to the game.
Lode Runner Legacy brings the long-running series up to date with charming voxel graphics, a thumping chiptune soundtrack and the longevity afforded by an online community, all while maintaining the addictive simplicity of its time-tested gameplay. Whether you’re looking for some quick pick-up-and-play action or simply to flex your creative muscle, Legacy delivers a compelling, comprehensive arcade experience that’s hard to put down.
Lode Runner Legacy PS4 Review
- Overall - Fantastic - 8/108/10
Lode Runner Legacy is an excellent retro remake. Managing to reinvigorate the series, while respecting its origins, Legacy delivers a definitive experience, complete with charming voxel art, a stellar soundtrack, addictive gameplay, and more levels than you can shake a lode at!
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Reviewed using PS4 Pro.