Lode Runner

created and published by Brøderbund in 1983-06-30, running on Apple II E
type: puzzle, platformer
genre: Claiming, Digging, Trapping
series: Lode Runner
perspective: side view
player options: single player
languages: eng

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Official description

You are a Galactic Commando deep in enemy territory. Power hungry leaders of the repressive Bungeling Empire have stolen a fortune in gold from the people by means of excessive fast food taxes. Your task is to infiltrate each of 150 different treasury rooms, evade the deadly Bungeling guards, and recover every chest of gold.
# 2017-01-08 16:14:00 - official description


1 player, or 2 players alternating competitively.

150 levels of strategic platformer with moderate puzzle action. You'll have to outthink the mad monks and plan ahead to dig a path to the gold and have an escape route. The monks have a simple but effective AI that, while fairly easy to predict, still presents a timing challenge. On many levels you can find spots to rest while the monks wait (not being able to determine how to reach you). Some levels require you to just keep moving and strategize on the fly. Your only tool and defense is the ability to dig pits in the platforms which you can fall through (and out the bottom) but monks will get stuck in them (sampling a bit much of the brew, I suppose) until they climb out or the pit closes on them. They never die, though (They must know somebody 0;-)); when crushed in a collapsing pit, they reappear at the top of the screen. You will need to dig pits in the proper places in the proper order to reach the gold while monks are chasing you, falling in your pits and such. Timing is important to corral the monks. Timing is also important to make your escape before a pit closes or in some cases, you'll have a monk hot on your tail and want the pit to close before you get there. You will even need to walk on top of the monk's heads, sometimes while both of you are falling in midair! Finally, there is some gold you just can't reach. You'll have to coax the monks into grabbing it for you then get it from them when they fall into one of your pits. But keep an eye on them; they play keep-away with the gold, handing it off to each other and sometimes just plain dropping it in an inaccessible location. It will take patience and timing to cause the monks to dance to your tune.

There is even a level construction kit included. This game was my first experience in level design. As a video game, it's practically flawless and one of the best Apple ][ games ever made. If I had to find a flaw I'd say the only thing lacking is a two-player simultaneous mode. But since two players can alternate and compete for the hi-score and especially since players can create levels to perpetrate on each other, this option is rarely missed.

There are only five terrains in the whole game: dig-able brick, solid brick, ladder, hanging ropes (for hand-under-hand transport), and trap doors that look like regular brick. However, they are arranged together to create some challenging levels. One could call the monks terrain also, since you must walk on them occasionally. The whole series of Lode Runner games began its life here in this game on the Apple ][.
# 2006

Technical specs

display: raster

Authors / Staff


Douglas E. Smith (original version)


Douglas E. Smith (developer)

Contributors (6)


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Lode Runner in-game screen.
Lode+Runner ()
Lode Runner (Apple II E)
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