A warning about reviews of classic games, and a review of a classic game: Battle Lode Runner

June 26th, 2007

For the record, I totally side with Tycho’s stance on the matter (I probably sided with him before he even said it in the comic): game reviews with numerical values are pretty much meaningless when it comes to classic titles.

Battle Lode Runner - Title ScreenSo to summarize this post: this game is fucking Lode Runner. Any fans of the Lode Runner games (ones that own a Wii, anyway) should grab it up immediately, and for shame on you for not noticing its availability on the Virtual Console sooner.

For everyone that hasn’t played before, for whom the self-evident sentiment above is meaningless: Battle Lode Runner is a game worth playing. It has dinosaurs, robots, gold… uh, Chinese guys… The object of the game is to collect all the gold in the level and escape before the enemy du jour makes physical contact with you (game heroes are such xenophobes). The only means you have of protecting yourself (beyond running away like some kind of coward) is to dig a hole in the ground. If an enemy falls in the hole, they’re temporarily incapacitated, giving you a chance to dance on his stupid head. That pretty much describes it! Go get ’em! The puzzles quickly get downright insidious, so you’d better get the game mechanics down fast.

I used to play a great Mac version back when I worked at a daycare center (I watched kids sometimes too! Honest!), so I was thrilled at the opportunity to grab up a nice classic version on the Wii.

The NES version is okay, but the Turbo-Grafx 16 edition is better-polished and includes more robust multiplayer modes for only a dollar more. IGN’s review (I was curious) says you should get it because it was the first VC title not previously available in the United States, but that’s stupid; you should play it because Lode Runner is a great game that deserves more than the relative obscurity it has fallen prey to, and Battle Lode Runner is a solid entry in the series.