I first played Lode Runner, The Legend returns when I was nine years old. The game's incredible simplicity gave it a cunning edge against more modern games.
The level editor. Lode Runner's level editor was what made the entire game worthwhile to me and my limitless childhood imagination. I was enthralled by the artistically drawn backgrounds, the catchy background music, and the ability to create levels for myself. What's more, I played it until I was 14 years old, then my computer fried and took all my games, custom maps, and saved files with it.
I've been searching for it ever since. Why? Because despite its deceptive simplicity, Lode Runner is one of the best 2D games ever to be made.
In Lode Runner, you play as a nameless man, the Load Runner, scouring the ruins of an ancient civilization in search of treasure, running and blasting your way through a 3-dimensional world while collecting treasure upon treasure, and evading your chief enemies; the mad Monks, who will literally beat the stuffing out of you. Equipped with your trusty blaster and an array of utility items and tools that you can collect along the way, you must blast your way through layers of turf and terrain. You can play alone or play in an extremely fun Co-Op
mode that allows two players to play on the same keyboard. The controls are very easy to learn and use (there are about 9 buttons total, arranged in D-pad format) and make for entertaining gameplay wherever and whenever.
As I mentioned before, the level creator is an extremely entertaining feature, as you can make your own maps, puzzles, and secret entrances/exits and challenge yourself and your friends. You can choose terrain types, backdrops, enemy locations, entrance and exit points, and even place the treasure yourself! The utility devices such as bombs and pickaxes make for very fun gameplay, especially when making domino-effect scenarios (when you create a chain reaction that forces the player to outrun the obstacles and reach the exit in time). You can even link different exits to different levels, allowing for confusing, yet challenging and entertaining gameplay.
Overall, lode runner is a game I would definitely recommend to anyone fond of high-class retro-games. Definitely one of the best 2D games ever created.