Boulder Dash – 30th Anniversary Comes to Android

Boulder Dash – 30th Anniversary Comes to Android

Oct 30, 2014

Boulder Dash – 30th Anniversary is now on Android.

From the Google Play page:

Boulder Dash-30th Anniversaryâ„¢ is the first collaboration by Peter Liepa & Chris Gray, the two original creators of the multi-million unit selling Boulder Dash, since the first game in the series was released in 1984 by First Star Software, Inc.

Cave Explorers, Dig This! Boulder Dash-30th Anniversary finds our hero, Rockfordâ„¢, facing a slew of new, exciting challenges in this legendary action puzzler. Dig through spectacular caves with 3D elements; avoid falling boulders; collect valuable gems and avoid nefarious enemies along the way as you search for the exit before time runs out. Discover treasure chests with rare collectibles and potent power-ups. With 200+ exciting levels, 10+ new, gorgeous and unique worlds, and 9 playable characters, Boulder Dash-30th Anniversary is the best game in its 30 year history. Start exploring today!

While remaining true to the classic gameplay and including all of your favorite, classic creatures and features, Boulder Dash-30th Anniversary introduces exciting new elements such as diagonal movement, using ramps, which opens up new and intriguing puzzles while creating a very different and organic look for the caves.

Features Include:
• 200+ all-new levels and more advanced physics
• Never-before-seen worlds and new creatures with 3D elements and animations
• New multicolored gem combos, treasure chests, rare collectibles and spectacular power-ups!
• All power-ups and cave packs featuring all worlds, additional creatures and features available as unlockables; or, as In-App-Purchases
• Play as Rockford or unlock/purchase 8 other playable male and female characters including Crystal
• First Boulder Dash game ever to include diagonal walls and movement

The game is available for free (with in-app purchase options) on the Play Store.

Boulder Dash-XL Review

Boulder Dash-XL Review

Apr 29, 2013

1984 was chock full of good stuff. Michael Jordan. The Mac commercial. Miami Vice. It was the year of the unforgettable Icon.

It was also the year of Boulder Dash. Y’all remember Rockford and his timed adventure hunting for diamonds. Well, Rockford is back in HeroCraft’s remade retro Boulder Dash-XL.

It’s always a challenge to redo favorites. A balance has to be struck between original elements and newfangled components. At first glance, however, I suspect the developer was able to navigate that treacherous road; I was able to pick it up immediately. The gameplay was all about mining; as the protagonist (Rockford or Crystal), I had to make it to the exit before time runs out. However, the exit was never initially open; to open it, I had to collect boulder1enough gems scattered around the playing area. Between me and the gems (and the exit) were plenty of obstacles. Some could be moved, some could be dissolved. The boulders, with nothing supporting them, could be deadly, so it behooved me to move quickly if I ended up underneath one with space for it to gather lethal momentum.

Further on in the game, there were monsters of different types that started appearing, roaming and reducing my life expectancy. To counter the tougher portions, there were also pickups I could burrow to.

To “solve” the puzzles, quick thinking was the name of the game. A false move could cause the gems to cascade to their destruction, meaning I would not get enough to unlock the door. I could use gems to attack monsters too, so there were opportunity costs to consider when making drilling decisions.

When you toss in the cool graphical touch-up (which matches console versions), it’s easy to like this game. Sharp graphics and subtle animations rounded out a game boasting five modes, ambidextrous touch controls and leaderboards.

All said, I thought it was an excellent reboot of a fantastic retro title.

Boulder Dash – The Collection Review

Boulder Dash – The Collection Review

Oct 21, 2011

Boulder Dash is one of those games steeped in history, starting with its birth on the Atari and later finding its way to computers and even the NES. The game was simple to pick up and provided enough brain teasing challenge to keep players coming back for more. Today, this iconic game graces Android devices with a collection of five Boulder Dash games, but this is not the trip down memory lane some may be looking for.

The concept of this game is simple. Players take the role of Rockford, who must dig through a series of caves to collect a specified number gems required to unlock the exit door, and this task must be accomplished before the timer hits zero. Bugs, falling boulders, amoeba, slime, and expanding walls provide plenty of obstacles to work with, while beating harder stages will take plenty of planning and forethought to complete. Make no mistakes about it, this is a challenging game to get through.

While the game does not keep the pure retro look of its past, First Star Software did keep the pixellated 8-bit aesthetics but revamped for the standards of today. Sprite animations consist of a few frames of movement, stages are a smattering of three to four basic colors, and big blocky pixels makeup everything in the world. It is a nice homage to the games from which this comes.

Sadly, once the nostalgia wears off things quickly start to deteriorate thanks to the obscenely finicky controls. There are three methods to control Rockford and they all have nuances that add an unnecessary difficulty to the game. The tilt controls are not precise enough for a game such as this, the split controls (placing up/down and left/right arrows on opposite sides of the screen) take a fair amount of time to adjust to, and the d-pad is too small which leads to an excessive amount of wrong key presses. This is a game which needs solid controls to conquer the harder levels, yet they fight players almost as much as the stages themselves.

The second concern is the price. At $3.99, this is an expensive game. There are plenty of good retro puzzle games on the market that offer just as much fun but at a fraction of the cost. Having to then buy additional caves as an in-app purchase adds insult to injury. If this game included everything, as in no in-game purchases, at the $4 it would be a good deal. There are free updates to push extra content, but having to buy more levels feels too much like a money grab.

Tweak the controls while dropping the price slightly and this would easily be a recommendation for fans. As it stands now, however, battling the controls detracts from the overall fun that this game ultimately could be. The high price and lack of all content unlocked is also a bitter pill to swallow. Wait for this to go on sale before adding it to the game collection.