Boulder Dash Rocks! DS
Published by: 10Tacle Studios
Developed by: 10Tacle Studios Mobile
Release Date: Out Now
Boulder Dash was a popular game back in its day, well over twenty years ago. Playing as a character known as Rockford, the basic idea was to collect diamonds whilst navigating around a maze-like level that was fraught with hazards in search of the exit. It was an addictive experience and one that’s been replicated and to some extent improved upon quite nicely in Boulder Dash Rocks!
The basic game-play in Boulder Dash Rocks! hasn’t changed that much and anyone who’s played Boulder Dash will be instantly at home with it. Essentially you’ll have to guide Rockford around the maze like levels in order to collect a certain amount of diamonds before safely guiding him to the level’s exit. Once again Rockford has to overcome a variety of hazards, such as rocks (which can fall on him if he’s not careful) and a variety of enemies such as Ugarrs, Evil Lettuces and Montezumas to name but three. Rockford has the ability to use the rocks to help him get rid of the various enemies and he can even use a zapper with an assortment of ammo types available. Rockford will also have to find coloured keys to open corresponding coloured locks and make use of teleporters as the game progresses.
Boulder Dash Rocks! offers four modes: Planet Tour, Route Race, Time Trial and Double Dash. In Planet Tour Rockford will have to prove how much he loves Crystal by collecting as many diamonds as possible. Rockford will visit four different planets in total, tackling a multitude of levels and some boss fights too. Route Race makes use of the stylus. Here you don’t get to move Rockford around in the usual manner. Instead you’ll have to plot a route through the level with the stylus and then press the play button to see if you picked out a safe route. Both of these modes begin quite comfortably but soon ramp up the difficulty level to offer an addictive and challenging experience. The two modes that are initially locked are Time Trial and Double Dash. Time Trial, as the name suggests, is a mode that gives you a limited amount of time to complete a level. The idea is to complete all of the levels as quickly as possible. Double Dash is a mode for two players (each with their own DS and copy of the game). We can’t comment on how this mode plays as we only had access to one copy of the game.
In regards to its presentation, Boulder Dash Rocks! is a simplistic, but colourful affair. In fact, the Game Boy Advance could have easily coped with the fairly undemanding graphical nature of the game. This isn’t a complaint however as the game looks as good as it needs to and there’s no denying that there’s a certain retrospective charm to how the game looks. The game makes good use of the touch screen, using it only when it’s really needed. There aren’t any elaborate cutscenes here, but there doesn’t really need to be. The game offers three save slots allowing for up to three different gamers to record their progress.
Deaf gamers won’t have any major problems with the game. All tutorial messages are shown in text. Rather than give you a separate tutorial, the game gives you tutorial advice when you need it and this helps to ease you gently into the experience. The game's storyline in the Planet Tour mode is displayed in text on the touch screen with a series of still and animated images displayed on the top screen. If I have one problem with the storyline text, it’s that you don’t get much time to read it.
If you are old enough to remember and have enjoyed the original Boulder Dash, then Boulder Dash Rocks! is going to be a game that you’ll enjoy. The basic game-play formula hasn’t changed and is addictive as ever. My only reservation would be the price of the game. At just under £30 it’s questionable if it’s going to be deemed a worthy purchase for anyone who hasn’t played Boulder Dash and who may be turned off by the simplistic looking screenshots. That’s not to say the game isn’t worth it however, in fact it’s an enjoyable game but a lower price may have attracted those gamers who wouldn’t normally give the game a second look, especially at this crazy time of year with so many good games arriving in time for Christmas.