Sunday, June 12, 2011

Battle Lode Runner - Get trapped in holes! Rage uncontrollably before your untimely demise!

Nowadays, everyone has a hard on for online gaming. I admit that it's nice to have especially if you moved away from friends, but there's something about that same-room multi-player experience that just beats all. In fact, I'm sure many of you have had an old-school multiplayer experience whether that would be Toe Jam & Earl or one of the many Bomberman games and I'm sure friendships have been broken because of the highly competitive nature of our hobby. Let's talk about one of the more unusual multiplayer games out there today, shall we?

It's hard to tell, but this guy is f***ed.
Battle Lode Runner was released only in Japan in 1993 for the Turbografx-16 by Hudson Soft. It's part of the classic Lode Runner series originally made by Brøderbund in 1983. Apparently, in the classic video game "Bomberman" for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Bomberman earned the ability to become human at the end of the game and ends up being the lode runner guy! That is why the bad-asses on the cover look so similar to our favorite explosive buddies! All the plot for the game is explained in the 30-second long intro. A black bomberman goes into a rocket, and the white lode runner man sees him escape. I guess it can be assumed that the black bomberman stoles a bunch of gold, because that's what you do in the single player puzzle adventure: collect a bunch of gold.  There's no real plot to talk about, and even the ending is barely an ending at all, you're just treated to an awesome running portrait of the lode runner guy!  But seriously, I wouldn't expect a story out of a game like this and neither should you.

The gameplay is simple yet taxing. You must collect all the gold in the level while avoiding the enemies that chase after you. Your only means of self defense is a laser gun that destroys a block on the floor so the enemy can fall in. You can't attack the enemies directly so you must rely on proper timing to trap your pursuers. You can't jump so if you happen to fall into one of the holes yourself, then you're screwed! It's a "trap or be trapped" game as you rush to find all the gold and then find the exit to escape with your life! There are over 100 levels in the game and you can even create your own, so that's a great little extra for you creative folk. The puzzle levels are all well and good, but it's the multiplayer that I found to be the best part.

Green is raging his balls off right now.
In multiplayer there are 3 modes of play for up to 5 players: Survival, Escape, and Tag Match. Survival is the most straight forward as it's a 5 player free-for-all where everyone runs around stages trying to trap each other in holes with the last one surviving winning the match. Avoiding getting trapped by your friends is actually pretty easy if you keep your wits about you, but eventually some monsters will be let loose into the arena chasing after the players, so that will certainly complicate matters for you! In "Escape", the players aren't after killing each other so much as looking for the ladder that will let them escape the level as monsters are let loose into the arena as well, and if everyone dies then the match is a draw. Then there's the tag match which is only up to 4 players (so there's an even amount of players), and it's your typical 2 vs 2 team battle where you try to trap and kill the opposing the team.

Even though this game was only released in Japan, Hudson soft saw fit to release this on the Wii's virtual console in the United States region. There's no Japanese in it what-so-ever, so this game is easily playable to anyone of any native language. The Lode Runner men have tons of personality in the victory cut-scenes, they remind me of mini-Captain Falcons. Again, if you have the friends then you must check this out, and even if you don't this game is kind enough to have multiplayer A.I bots for you to mess around with which I am always grateful for! Have a good one, everybody.


  1. This game looks like a lot of fun. I wish I would have been able to play it when I was young. For me it had always been a struggle to find good fun - easy to play multiplayer games.

  2. Yeah I used to play bomberman with a lot of friends and like you said it gets broken pretty quickly :S

  3. this game looks pretty cool, havent played it before though

  4. yeah the trap or be trapped emntality can be frustrating lol

  5. I lvoed this game. And the bomberman games.

  6. That brings back some memories.


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