oprainfall | Lode Runner Legacy (Switch)
oprainfall | Lode Runner Legacy (Switch)
Title Lode Runner: Legacy
Developer Tozai Games
Publisher Tozai Games
Release Date March 29, 2018
Genre Action, Casual, Puzzle
Platform Switch, PC
Age Rating E for Everyone
Official Website

Lode Runner is back in the form of Lode Runner: Legacy on Nintendo Switch. It brings all the same modes of the PC version and more on the go with you. Can you outwit the enemies to get all the gold on each level and then escape before they get you?

The PC version of Lode Runner: Legacy has already been out for a while now, having released in July 2017. The new Switch version brings the game on the go with you, with new modes and levels as an added cherry on top. These include a new local co-op multiplayer mode, and the new Extra mode that challenges you with harder levels and new enemies. It should be noted that the new modes in the Switch version have also just recently been added to the PC version in the version 2.0 patch as well. So don’t feel left out if you already own it on Steam. We previously reviewed the PC version, and you can check it out here for specifics on the scoring system and other smaller details. This review is focused on comparing the Switch version to the PC one.

Lode Runner: Legacy | A new Extra mode
The new Extra mode brings 20 new levels with a handful of new enemies.

The new Extra mode adds 20 new levels with 4 new types of enemies. The difficulty ramps up quite a bit by the end of this new mode, too. So be ready for a challenge. Some of the new enemies have new abilities, as well. For example, one can dig sideways through walls as it tries to catch you. Another is a bomb enemy that will destroy a 3×3 square of blocks centered around itself a couple seconds after it gets stuck in a hole you dug. You’ll need to not only avoid the blast, but use their ability strategically to reach otherwise inaccessible areas that you couldn’t dig to on your own.

Lode Runner: Legacy | A new bomb enemy
An explosive new challenger approaches.

When you first start the game, not all modes are available. You’ll need to earn stars in the Adventure Mode to start unlocking more modes. You can earn more stars in those modes to help you unlock all modes, including the level, enemy, and item editors. Getting enough stars to unlock all modes is not too hard at all, since you can earn stars in most of the single player modes. The Switch version also supports online sharing of player created content. You don’t have access to content made by players in the Steam version, though. However, Switch players have already created tons of stuff anyways, so it really doesn’t matter.

The core gameplay is the same as the PC version, as is the scoring system and most of the game. You can play through a basic story in Adventure Mode, tackle classic Lode Runner levels in Classic Mode, rack your brain on puzzle levels in Puzzle mode, take on 20 new harder levels in Extra mode, or best player created levels in the World Levels mode. You can also team up with a buddy in the new local, two player co-op mode.

Lode Runner: Legacy | New Coop mode
Team up with a friend to collect all the gold on each level and escape.

In co-op mode, each player can use one Joy-Con, a controller, or their own pair of Joy-Cons to play. To use an individual Joy-Con for each player, you’ll need to press the SL+SR buttons on the side of the Joy-Con to tell it that this Joy-Con alone is your controller. In this case, you’ll hold the Joy-Con sideways to play as you progress through 30 co-op levels. This mode also has stars to earn, using the same ranking and scoring system as in single player.

You’ll need to work together to get all the gold with as much time left as you can to keep the score multiplier as high as possible. Sometimes, you’ll need some tricks, too. For example, in the early level shown below, you’ll need to stand on your friend’s head and both walk at the same time so you can get to the lower-left-most hand-over-hand bar at the lower-left of the level. At first, it looks impossible to reach that shiny gold piece in the upper left to get the score bonus by grabbing that piece before you touch any other gold. However, once you get one character on the lower-left-most bar, he can climb off the left side and will fall through that piece of gold without grabbing it.

Lode Runner: Legacy
A co-op level with a bunch of gold.

This is a mechanic not seen in some older Lode Runner games. Gold floating in the air cannot be grabbed by coming at it from the side, only from above. It’s kind of counter intuitive, as the first time you encounter this you’ll be like “What the hell? I clearly got that piece of gold!”. It’s the same in the PC version. It’s no big deal, just a little thing you may have to adjust to.

The gameplay brings the same retro goodness as the PC version, but now you can play it anywhere! The controls feel very nice, and a bit better than playing on PC with a keyboard and mouse. It should be noted, however, that the PC version does support using controllers, too! Plus there’s those new Co-op and Extra modes. On the menu screens, for most modes it’ll show stats at the bottom of the screen when you select a mode. You can see your total score, and your world ranking for that mode (see the menu screenshots in this review). The sound and music sound great and do their jobs just as well as in the PC version.

Lode Runner Legacy | A player created level
A Mario themed, player created level I found in World Levels mode. They should’ve made the player be Mario, but it’s still cool!

Overall, Lode Runner: Legacy is just as good on the Nintendo Switch as it is on the PC. Sure, you might have a little higher resolution on PC, but it’s not going to make a retro graphics style like this look that much better anyway. The game plays quite well on the Switch, and runs very smoothly. I did not experience any framerate issues or glitches at all. The Adventure Mode could take you from a day to maybe a week depending on if you go for the three star rank on each level. There is tons more to do beyond that with all the levels in Puzzle, Extra, Classic, Co-op, and World Levels modes, too. The player levels you can download and play give the game endless playtime. I’ve been through a chunk of Adventure Mode again, and the vast majority of Extra mode for this review (plus a little of Co-op and World Levels modes). I’ve played about 10 hours so far in this version, but that’s only scratching the surface of this game! You can blow through most of Extra mode in a day or two, or take a good bit longer if you go for all the stars on each level. I got completely stuck at one of the last levels, as I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to get one stubborn piece of gold! Lode Runner: Legacy is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $11.99 USD/€11.99 EUR. Are you ready to take Lode Runner: Legacy on the go and get all the gold and stars anytime, anywhere?

Review Score

Review copy provided by publisher.

Michael Fontanini
Michael is a veteran gamer in his late 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES, SNES, and N64 among others. He loves Nintendo, but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks/bike rides, loves animals, and enjoys thunderstorms (and science in general). I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.