Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 60 / MAY 1985 / PAGE 58

Championship Lode Runner

Michael B. Williams

Requirements: Commodore 64 and a disk drive; or an Apple II-series computer with at least 48K RAM and a disk drive. Joystick optional.

So you've conquered all 150 screens of Lode Runner and are tired of creating your own? What's next? Brøderbund has the answer: a sequel to Lode Runner that's even more demanding than the original.

Championship Lode Runner offers you 50 of the toughest challenges you're likely to find in videogaming. Aimed at those who have reduced the original Lode Runner to bits, Championship Lode Runner offers nothing new in terms of features, but poses new challenges designed by champion Lode Runners for champion Lode Runners.

Brøderbund makes it clear that Championship Lode Runner is only for experienced Lode Runner players. You will need every ounce of your knowledge to survive, so first-time Runners should tune up on the original before attempting this championship version.

The Bungeling Empire Strikes Back

As in Lode Runner, the leaders of the power-hungry Bungeling Empire have made a fortune in gold from excessive fast-food taxes. As a Galactic Commando, your job is to raid the elaborately designed treasury rooms and recover all the gold chests, at every step outsmarting the Bungeling guards.

Apparently the leaders have become outraged at your success in their previous compound, so they've created a new one with fewer rooms, but greater challenges. To move to the next room, you must clear each screen of gold chests worth 500 points each. For every room you complete, you receive 2000 bonus points and an extra life.

Unfortunately, you're not the only hunter. The Bungeling guards try to keep you from taking the chests and advancing to the next room. If a guard snatches a gold chest, you must trap him to retrieve it.

Your laser drill pistol bores holes and passageways through the fissured brick floors in the compound. Bungeling guards can become trapped in the pits, which fill up after a period of time. Trapping a Bungeling guard is worth 100 points; if the hole fills while he's trapped, you earn another 100 points. Trapping a guard is the only certain method of retrieving a snatched chest.

Invisible Pitfalls

Each new screen requires new strategies to complete it; experienced players pause the game from time to time to plan a course of action. It is entirely possible, by executing a certain move, to make it impossible to finish the screen without starting over.

The screens contain both solid and fissured bricks, ladders, and ropes. Later screens are laden with traps which cause you to plummet a number of levels—sometimes to the bottom of the screen. They are invisible, but finding them is part of the fun.

The program saves high scores on disk along with a name of up to eight letters. You can also save games in progress; you can restore a game once without penalty, but every time you restore the same game thereafter, you lose one life.

Brøderbund has a special reward for anyone who conquers all 50 screens: You can enter a 19-character victory message on the high-score display, and you'll receive a personalized Championship Lode Runner Champion Certificate from Brøderbund—and you will have earned it.

If Championship Lode Runner has you stumped and you're obsessed with victory, Brøderbund offers a hint book for $9.95. The book provides step-by-step hints and diagrams for solving each level, along with the placement of traps. Seasoned players will welcome these hints (not solutions). Even expert players will value seeing each screen in advance.

Championship Lode Runner is a must for Lode Runner veterans. All that's missing is the design mode—you'll have to use the original version for that. But if you've exhausted the possibilities of the original, Championship Lode Runner gives you 50 more "impossible" challenges. And this time, Brøderbund promises you won't find them so easy.

Championship Lode Runner
17 Paul Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903