Guinea Pigs Wanted!


My version of Lode Runner is nearing completion and I have come to a realisation - I am actually not that good at it anymore. BITD, I remember the sense of achievement I had when I completed the 150th level but now I am struggling to complete even the easiest ones.

So … I am hoping that a tester or two will step forward and show me just how bad I am at games. My concern is that although I have tried to mimic the physics of the original game and have copied the levels exactly that some may not be completable.

Get Involved

Think you can help? Download a copy of the game and give it a go!

The source code can be found here >
The HEX file can be found here >

… but if you contact me, I will give you some hints and tips including how to get the game to start at any level rather than having to play them sequentially.

Previously I have had people like @Keyboard_Camper help with testing and it has been invaluable.

Future Releases

The first version of this game includes 40 levels. When you complete these, you will be prompted to load the next game which provides levels 41 - 80. I plan to have the original 150 levels of the game plus some tribute levels spread across 4 HEX files. I have already completed levels 41 - 80 and are close to finishing the rest!

Levels in Release 1

Level 1                                                                Level 2
Lode_Runner_level1    Lode_Runner_level2

Level 3                                                                Level 4
Lode_Runner_level3   Lode_Runner_level4

Level 5                                                                Level 6
Lode_Runner_level5   Lode_Runner_level6

Level 7                                                                Level 8
Lode_Runner_level7   Lode_Runner_level8

Level 9                                                               Level 10
Lode_Runner_level9   Lode_Runner_level10

Level 11                                                             Level 12
Lode_Runner_level11   Lode_Runner_level12

Level 13                                                             Level 14
Lode_Runner_level13   Lode_Runner_level14

Level 15                                                             Level 16
Lode_Runner_level15   Lode_Runner_level16

Level 17                                                             Level 18
Lode_Runner_level17   Lode_Runner_level18

Level 19                                                             Level 20
Lode_Runner_level19   Lode_Runner_level20

Level 21                                                             Level 22
Lode_Runner_level21   Lode_Runner_level22

Level 23                                                             Level 24
Lode_Runner_level23   Lode_Runner_level24

Level 25                                                             Level 26
Lode_Runner_level25   Lode_Runner_level26

Level 27                                                             Level 28
Lode_Runner_level27   Lode_Runner_level28

Level 29                                                             Level 30
Lode_Runner_level29   Lode_Runner_level30

Level 31                                                             Level 32
Lode_Runner_level31   Lode_Runner_level32

Level 33                                                             Level 34
Lode_Runner_level33   Lode_Runner_level34

Level 35                                                             Level 36
Lode_Runner_level35   Lode_Runner_level36

Level 37                                                             Level 38
Lode_Runner_level37   Lode_Runner_level38

Level 39                                                             Level 40
Lode_Runner_level39   Lode_Runner_level40


Perfect, i am in. If i can help in some ways, i will do it.

OK … download the game and give it a go! Did you ever play the original? Its more of a strategy puzzle / action than a straight up action game.

I did download it. And played a lot of Lode Runner on the Commodore 64 version. been quite a while tho :wink:
So far i find the game already really close to the original. I will let you know as soon as i have more time to play after work (i am at work right now).

P.S.: i always thought this game was more of an action/puzzle hybrid.


Right … get back to work. Maybe puzzle is a better word than strategy - I have edited my original post.

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I can confirm that you are not that bad at this game, unless i got really bad as i grew older.

I think somebody else gave you that comment but i will second it, the auto-run does makes the game harder. I don’t know which version you based your game on, but the commodore 64 version did not have that feature and felt a bit easier.

Also the fact that we don’t see the whole stage adds some difficulty to the game, not a bad thing. Just different.
Did you ever considered using the Atari Lynx version of Lode Runner? the resolution is closer to the arduboy.

That would make the game look like this:
I made a quick mock-up (4x4 tiles)

I am on level 5 only right now, and already finds it hard. Maybe something will click later and i will be able to get further without too much problem.

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Was the original this hard?

I only played few minutes but it feels so hard. It might be the speed+screen+control. I do not remember the C64 version, but checking:

I can say:

  1. Speed:
    That one (html5 one) feels way slower.
  1. Screen:
    Physical constrains, but if the arrow changed with the distance, that would help to decide. Example: only a dot if the enemy is 1 level away, nothing if is 2 levels away and full arrow if is directly on top
  1. Control:
    Why the player runs all the time? was the original like that instead of “hold to move”

In any case, the game looks great! your are a game-making machine @filmote xD

Edit: made it to level 2… Stuck on level 2

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That someone else was @pharap … I have based my version on the Apple ][ version (the one I had) but I hear the feedback and will look at making it not ‘auto run’ !

Yes, I struggled with this and was concerned that the smaller version would look a little shite. The arrows are a concession to the lack of visibility.

Impossible or just a challenge? If I change the ‘auto-run’ and slow it down a touch, would this make it better?

I am not sure what speed might be more appropriate but (obviously) I can fiddle with the refresh rate. Did you have a play with that and what did you find better?

The current arrow is 3 pixels wide per side. I can probably do an arrow that is 2 pixels per side but I think going smaller than that might get lost in the background. I will have a play with that.

Thanks. I hope to get as much feedback as possible and tune it to be a great game.

Even I can get past level 2 … must be an ‘operator error’ :slight_smile:

I got time to play some more yesterday night and am now stuck on level 6. Digging to get that gold at the bottom and the 2 in the middle is hard. I am sure it can be done, just really hard for me.

Yes i think if the character stop auto-running it would make the game a little easier. But the digging blocks might get tricky unless you stop at the right spot. Or is it possible to make it so that when you let go of the direction it stops over the nearest block? Even that could look weird i guess, maybe worth a try.

Slowing the speed down might help, i kindda like the speed of the game, but since we have to deal with enemies that we don’t always see a bit slower speed could balance it.

As hard as it is, i am still having a blast with it and really get a sense of achievement when i do beat a level. Whi ch is what you want from a game of this type.

Thank you for making this, it sure is a blast from the past for me.

I am currently changing the code to stop the player from running. I will let you know when it is ready for playing. I have also included @eried’s idea of different sized arrows.

Thanks for testing it. I am adding to my list of people to thank:

Memory savings / coding advice : @Pharap
Testing: @Vampirics and @eried


OK so there is a new HEX file, here >
And the code is here >


  • player does not ‘auto run’ now.
  • changed the speed ever so slightly.
  • added two sizes of arrows to give you a visual indicator of the relative distance the enemies are from the edge of the screen (smaller obviously means further).
  • fixed a couple of errors in the levels.

As always, I am happy to hear feedback!

Wow! it does play better now.

Still stuck on lvl 6, and found a little problem…

As you can see on this picture, you can get stuck in some spots, like where the gold is on the 6th level at the bottom part. i also got stuck in the pitfall top right, when you fall down you are just stuck there with no means to move, can’t even die there. You can’t do anything else than turn the arduboy Off and ON again.

  • Maybe some way to be able to just self-destruct by holding A and B together for 3 seconds would fix that? Unless it’s just a map issue?

  • Another weird thing happened, after getting a Gameover screen when i resumed, where it shows how many MEN i have left, it’s now showing things like MEN: ¡!7 . And it seems i don’t get a GameOver screen anymore…
    After i turned the Arduboy OFF and ON again, that small bug disappeared, maybe i triggered a super secret infinite lives cheat :wink:

  • One more thing, i somehow managed to get stuck into the bricks of the stage.

See screenshot below, i am in the middle:

I might need that hidden level select option to test the other stages, can’t seem to finish level 6.
I was also wondering if having access to all the levels but having them marked as completed when they are could be something that help people enjoy the game even more? Like when you are stuck you can try another level and get back to it when you feel you can get it right?

Nice! It is a whole new game for me, really enjoyable now.

Another observation: I am not sure is if the arrow should be full arrow/tiny line (2 pixels) instead of full arrow/tiny arrow. It might make the difference easier to notice. What do you think?

Also your M looks like an N (and not like an inverted W) and the V looks like a U (in LVL).

Yeah, I have discovered that problem too. It would be easy for me to detect if you are surrounded by bricks but some of the other traps are not so simple and I was trying to think of a way to fix it. I do like the idea of holding the A and B button together to commit suicide. It will actually make the detection problem go away!

No the map looks correct compared to the original. I guess there is a question on whether the holes fill in too quickly? I can slow this down a bit more if you feel it is too quick.

The ‘font’ I am using in the game are actually images and I divide the number of men left by 10 to get the first digit and then use the remainder to work out the second digit. I am guessing that when you die, the number of men goes bellow zero (actually to 255 as its unsigned) and then it tries to display image 25 of my ten image array … hence garbage. I will look at this.

I can see the problem and have experienced a similar issue. Sometimes when you land on a brick, you land 1 pixel or to below the ground level. When I am detecting whether you are have been killed by a brick reforming, I am assuming you are exactly on the grid. I can fudge fix this by testing to see if you are partially in the brick but I really want to be able to replicate the issue so I can find the root cause.

I will PM you.

I am severely running out of memory so I am not sure I can squeeze this in without reducing the number of levels. I will try as I like the idea.

I will give it a go and see how it looks.

Its a 5x4 font. If I make the M look wider it looks weird.

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For the stuck in the brick issue i can easily replicate it. Its really everytime you fall between 2 blocks.

I do think that maybe making the holes regen a little slower might make the levels a bit easier and should help the player not get stuck between 2 blocks too.

About the self destruct combo, can you add a use for the red led without taking too much memory? A bit like in Circuit Dude? (Not sure of the name sorry).

Can you recreate the stuck in brick but not quite at ground level problem? Normally you land on the ‘ground’ and when the brick closes in on you die properly.

Ah yes, but what do you mean? That when you hold the combo down the red LED comes on to warn you you are about to kill yourself?

But the W is actually wider than the M. I think it looks weird as is :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh is it? I better look at that. I will add it to the ever-increasing list!

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Sorry english isn’t my first language so here’s what i believe you asked me to try.

On this screenshot i am just above the word MEN , on ground level but i do believe that i can do it almost anywhere.

About the suicide combo, yes i was refering to a blinking or fading red led when holding the buttons.

Another small question: should the exit be signaled with something? Like an arrow indicating?

I thought at the beginning that the exit appeared always in the right (but since this is not the case),

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