Lode Runner: The Legend Returns is an enjoyable, if somewhat repetitive game. You play as the Lode Runner himself, Jake Peril. Jake is a bounty hunter, searching for the stolen treasures of the world. This is a rather corny plot, but, hey, it's not that important.
The gameplay is the important part. Controlling Jake is rather simple, once you get to learn the keys. A joystick certainly helps, though, as you will have an easier time manipulating him. Evading the monks is the main point of the game, and it can, at times, be a difficult thing to do. The monks can be ferocious, and they will not stop until they finish you off. Jake has the ability to climb up and over the monks, or to blast a hole or bomb areas to finish off the monks. It is somewhat difficult to finish all of the monks off, especially in the later levels without either blowing yourself up, or falling into one of the holes that you created for the monks to fall into. That's all right, however, as you can continue as much as you like.
Being able to jump right into any level that you wish is an interesting option for the game to have, as it may break the monotony of having to beat that one level that you are up to and just cannot get by. You can continue on from whatever level you choose to start at, however, you will not be treated to the somewhat entertaining "mini-flicks" that are shown after each world is beaten. A small price to pay, though, for getting to start wherever you want.
The level-generator mode is quite an innovation for a game made in this time period. Few games had an option such as this when this game was made. If you have mastered all of the games that the developers have given to you, then, you can create your own to challenge by yourself, or for a friend. All of the options that the developers had to put into the game are yours to manipulate. It's quite enjoyable, and you will feel proud if your level is a good one.
Graphics: Average, they get the job done.
Enjoyment: A simple concept that's fun.
Replay Value: After you finish it, the only thing your gonna do is make your own levels... the head-to-head is ok.
A resurrection of the original classic platform game with a number of updates such as one and two player options, detailed graphics, character moves, a level editor, and music with sound effects. Beside you run from some red-toga wearing "Mad Monks" that eat you (like in the "Beast Master" movie) if they catch you, you have a few things on hand to use: small bombs, big bombs (nothing will reappear when they destroy something), a drill (for stone floors), booby-traps, and a few other things up your sleeve.
If there was ever an award for "perfect choice of designer for game sequels," Sierra would get this in 1994 when they tasked Jeff with designing a sequel to Broderbund's classic Lode Runner. The talented designer of The Incredible Machine delivered a game that is not only worthy of the name, but is also leaps and bounds better by adding new enemies, more ingenious levels, and best of all, a level editor where players can design their own torturous levels. If you love the game, check out Lode Runner Online: The Mad Monks' Revenge, the improved sequel with multiplayer support.
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