To me, retro has always been associated to fun. The Youtube video made by the guys who created this gem was fun. They are not trying to impress with wastefully expensive animation played on a 100+Hz screen and orchestra sounds booming from the speakers.
The guys from the Netherlands stick to the basics. Using only the Basic language, they invite us for a gaming trip on the good old C64. The title screen surprises the spoiled player with its basic cleanliness. A short introduction explains the game and the controls completely without graphical knick-knack. The colour scheme based on earthy tones prepares the enthusiast for what is coming and – a quick tap on the space key – you dive right in.
If there is one game that has been played by almost anyone that got close to any kind of computer, it has to be Tetris. It is everywhere: From key-chains, over mobile phones, TV set-top boxes and pocket calculators to high end PCs. Think of any platform and you can be sure this game runs on it. If there ever are refrigerators with Internet connections, you will certainly be able to stack some blocks while checking your milk re-order. Tetris is one of those rare games that have outgrown copyright struggles and has become a commonly shared idea, which massively contributed to its success. Still, under this myriad of clones and copies, there are some versions many people consider the definite version. Like Spectrum Holobyte's Tetris – which often is (wrongly) thought of as the first – and the probably most famous one, which we are going to talk about today: Tetris for Game Boy.
In the Early Days™, computer games were still very much influenced by arcade games. Half of that is true for Lode Runner. The gameplay concerns a small figure running across platforms which are connected through ladders. It is collecting treasures while avoiding contact with the bad guys (the Bungelings). This sort of thing would work very well in an arcade environment.
What distinguishes this game from most others at the time is its size: There are so many levels, it just goes on and on and on and on. This is something which was commonly achieved at the time by looping the game around, i.e. simply repeating the already finished levels on a higher speed setting, for example. This game is different: The levels are all hand-made and very few people will ever have seen them all!