Boulder Dash was a good choice to include in the For Prizes pantheon.
- A solid port of Boulder Dash
- Great representation of horse preferences.
- Strange in-game music
- Fewer levels at the outset.
Boulder Dash was one of the most popular games on the famed Commodore 64, and not without reason. Its perilous caves, rife with loose boulders and exploding butterflies, captivated a generation of spelunkers. Now you can finally cash in on those hours you spent in the eighties honing your diamond-mining skills. Infospace has delivered a competent port of Boulder Dash (similar in quality to the earlier Boulder Dash M.E.), and added their For Prizes system, breathing new life into the old franchise.
For the uninitiated, Boulder Dash is a puzzle game that lets you control Rockford, the son of Stoneford, from whom he inherited a series of treasure maps. A fortune in diamonds awaits Rockford underground...but so do the aforementioned dangers. In each level, you must collect as many of these diamonds as possible and escape via the exit door. You'll spend most of your time digging a path through cave dirt, avoiding rocks that might tumble on you, using them instead to crush your foes. You can collect three items to aid you in your wealth-building quest: a bomb, which detonates after being dropped; a boulder hammer, which smashes a boulder; and a cave-rotation device, which turns the cave, moving any loose boulders or bombs according to the adjusted gravity. If you've never played Boulder Dash before, this is a fine version to start with.
Boulder Dash for Prizes gives you four practice sets of caves to work on (16 caves in total) and lets you download new tournament caves as they become available. These competitive levels can also be saved to practice mode, overwriting one of your existing sets. You won't have as many caves as in the original C64 game, though, at least at the outset.
You can play online in one of two ways. In head-to-head mode, you compete for a score against single players. You can do this as much or as little as you want. At the end of each day, a prize is awarded to the player with the best win/loss ratio. This means that a player with 50 wins and no losses would have a better chance at winning than a player with 70 wins and nine losses. How often you compete in head-to-head mode is, therefore, part of the strategy. Progressive mode tournaments are tallied weekly and are simple high-score competitions. You can play as often as you want, and your best high score is uploaded and entered. The weekly prizes are typically better than daily prizes, and may include gift certificates to electronics retailers. This adds quite a bit to the game's value, as you actually have a chance to make a return on your initial investment.
In all of Boulder Dash's modes, the game is presented very well. The sprites are large and crisp on the LG VX7000, and Rockford's movement animations show nary a stutter. The game's sound effects are quite good as well. You'll hear a little something every time you move a rock, cause a bomb to explode, pick up a diamond, or clear a level. Simple digging is silent. Over the main menu, a strange MIDI plays. It sounds like it was composed in Mario Paint, but at least it's polyphonic and doesn't loop too quickly.
Boulder Dash was a good choice to include in the For Prizes pantheon. The core experience is one everyone can enjoy. However, the game is challenging enough to support really high-level play. Boulder Dash addicts and puzzle fans as a whole will enjoy this solid port with expanded functionality.
- Game Universe:
- Boulder Dash (GB, C64, ARC, APL2, PC, CVIS, NES, AMI, CPC, A800),
- Boulder Dash: ROCKS! (DS, PSP, IP),
- Boulder Dash-XL (X360, PC, IP),
- Boulder Dash EX (GBA),
- Boulder Dash Construction Kit (AMI),
- Boulder Dash (BBC),
- Boulder Dash IV (CPC),
- Boulder Dash Construction Kit (APL2, A800, ST, ZX, PC),
- Boulder Dash Construction Kit (C64, CPC),
- Boulder Dash II: Rockford's Revenge (PC, C64, A800)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: