Last week, we gave you Power Stone as a great XBLA candidate. However, after going through the comments, we've decided to revise our rules a little bit. A few of our readers pointed out that they'd rather see a full blown next gen sequel to Power Stone rather than a Live Arcade rehash. You know what fanboys? You're right. From now on we will try and steer clear of games that might actually get legitimate sequels. And with that out of the way, we present this week's pick, Lode Runner (as submitted by BklynKid). A puzzle game of the highest order, Lode Runner has all the right curves in all the right places for an XBLA title. The game is simple, fun, addictive, and easy to play in quick bursts. Read on to find out what makes Lode Runner super special.
In Lode Runner, you play as -- get this -- Lode Runner. It's your job to collect all the gold on a level -- by way of ladders, platforms, and monkey bars -- and then make it to the exit. Of course, no video game would be complete without some obstacles and baddies to get in your way. So, naturally, evil robots (or Mad Monks) are out to stop you at every turn. And that's where the game's puzzle dynamic comes into play. Instead of crassly shooting the evil robots, Lode Runner digs holes that act as traps or a handy escape route. Over time, the landscape regenerates itself and the holes close -- occasionally trapping baddies (or our hero) inside. Trapped robots reappear if they get sealed inside a hole, whereas Lode Runner will lose a life. This can become fairly tricky in later levels, as you have to dig holes in the right places and in the right order to reach buried gold -- fail to do this and you will be sealed up in Poe-like grisliness. And on top of all that, there are camouflaged holes that appear to be solid at first glance. All of these things combined often mean that a level will have to be played several times in order to learn the proper sequence of events.
Lode Runner game makes a good XBLA candidate for fairly obvious reasons, but the right additions could make it a truly great experience. What we'd love to see: versus mode, co-op, leader boards, and a level editor. The versus mode could have players competing to get all the gold and escape before the other, co-op is self-explanatory. A level editor could extend the life of the title infinitely. Of course, giving your users infinite content isn't always what businesses want when they're fighting for the bottom line. Still, it would make a great addition -- ah, who are we kidding? We just want to make levels that spell out dirty words.
So, do you think Lode Runner is the dog's bollocks? Or is it just bollocks? Tell us what you think and give us some suggestions for next week's game.
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