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september 21, 2012

Boulder dash for Game Boy

 Boulder Dash (EU) Boulder Dash (JP)
Boulder Dash is a classic arcade game released for a lot of consoles. I have the European Game Boy cover here because I had this game as a kid. There's even a famicom version, but it's pretty rare.

I think it is one of the fine great Game Boy action/puzzle games. It never lags, the graphics always does the job, and you could't really improve much if it was on an iPhone. Well, you'd have better sound and graphics, but the basic gameplay would be the same.

I won't explain the concept, just watch the video. One thing not evident from the video is that if you get hit by one of those falling rocks, you die. Or a falling diamond may kill you. You could also end up trapped somewhere, trap necessary diamonds, or get hit by an enemy.

Some other concepts: Some enemies will give diamonds when they are hit by a rock, but you need to time at carefully. Other enemies just explode, but it may be necessary to blow holes in walls. Note that enemies have different movement patterns. Some always move right, other left, and so on. Watch out -- you don't want to blow up diamonds, or you may not be able to complete the level.

Those pulsating things turn into diamonds when they are trapped. That's a very difficult thing on the later levels because you need to move a lot of rocks to the right place, in a short amount of time.
The pulsating things are also sometimes used to blow up enemies and get diamonds, as in the video.

While Boulder Dash is a great concept, it bothers me that there is no continuation in the game boy version. If you die your lives and the continues (2?), you're game over. I tried to play this game many times, but it's really frustrating to play through the levels for an hour and then be game over. Some levels are long, and others are very tricky. The slightest mistake will kill you. I still cringe at those butterflies, the falling rocks, and what not.

It comes back to me now... I think I onced played really far, getting passed level 5. Then, a level 6 appeared, and I think after that a level 7. I'm not sure how long this game is. I don't think I've played it since.

I don't think I will play it again, too many bad memories. Oh, why did they make it so hard? It's so unrewarding. But I do have the Jap Game Boy version on its way, with box, and that feels pretty nice as a collector's item.

An important thing to know is that if you press A and the direction pad you will remove the stuff in that area without going there, which is necessary sometimes. Also cool is the Select button, which will change the screen from near to far.

I'll rate it 4/5. Apart from it's difficulty and stupid no continuation, it's great.

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