- NA release: 30th March 1999
- PAL: release: 21st May 1999
- JP release: 30th July 1999
- Developer: Big Bang
- Publisher: Infogrames (NA/PAL), Banpresto (JP)
- N64 Magazine Score: 70%
Lode Runner is a long-going puzzle series that still has the odd release now, although most seem to be updated version of the original. The N64 version brought the franchise into 3D, but decided to stay true to its roots and just add an extra dimension to it. It got some middling reviews or doing so, but I think it worked out well.
The basic concept of Lode runner is that there are blocks that temporarily vanish when you shoot them, but you can only fire your gun in a downwards diagonal. You can also only jump down where there are arrows. The objective of each level is to collect gold and reach the end of the level to be transported to the next. Throughout the game, you’ll encounter deadly monks, bombs and special blocks.
It is, however, a little bit too east to mess up and get stuck, having to restart the entire level. This is more of an issue if it happens at the end of a particularly long level. There are also other things to find, such as gems to unlock bonus levels, extra lives and keys to unlock the next world.
I can see where reviewers of the time are coming from – people expect big adventures from high priced games, rather than a nice, simple puzzler. But these kinds of games can get a bit more time to shine now, and this would be a nice digital game now.
Those of you that remember the original Lode Runner will find that, despite the polygon-filled graphical flourishes, this is pretty much the same game that was first seen well over a decade ago. The rest of us, however, may wish to be distracted momentarily by an absorbing little puzzle game that still charms through an intriguing, time-defying premise.Jes Bickham, N64 Magazine #29
Remake or Remaster?
An updated version (perhaps with undo/rewind features) would be nice.
Official Ways to get the game
There’s no official way to play Lode Runner 3-D.
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