Boulder Dash

Reviewed by Gerald Swan



Issue 14

Mar/Apr 85

Next Article >>

<< Prev Article






This game was recently selected as game of the month in Computer & Video Games and was voted one of the top ten computer games of 1984 in OMNI magazine. Need I say more?

Well, I suppose I should. Boulder Dash is what I would describe as a thinking man's arcade game. You do need to be quick on the joystick but rush headlong in and your lives will quickly vanish. In the game you play the part of 'Rockford', a little creature who can only be described as cute - if you pause during play or use the spacebar to freeze the game he puts his hands on his hips, winks at you and taps his foot impatiently.

The object of the game is similar to other digging games i.e. you travel through caves to collect gems. It is however much more difficult than most with many problems to solve. Your biggest problem is the boulders which are numerous and, if undermined, will be dislodged and will crush little Rockford. They fall in a very realistic manner bouncing off other boulders and trapping or killing you if you are not careful. Each screen has a time limit at the top of the picture with the number of gems needed to reveal a flashing exit.

In addition to the boulders, there are Fireflies which are normally lethal but which on some screens can be converted to gems, an Amoeba which can both help and hinder and magic walls. After every 5 screens there is an optional quick, but not too easy, screen to solve for a bonus life. In addition to this, bonus lives are awarded every 500 points. There are 16 screens in all to be cleared, each more difficult than the one before and each screen requires very careful planning.

All in all an excellent game. Sound and graphics are marvellous. Easy to get into, but very difficult to solve. Well worth buying.