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Boulder Dash 3 (1986)      

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Details (Commodore 64) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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First Star Software Inc
Arcade (Collect'em Up [Miscellaneous]
American Action, Jan Österlin, Peter Liepa
64K
1
Yes, required
Eng
N/A
Audio cassette
UK (£9.99)
Boulder Dash
Boulder Dash 2: Rockfords Riot
Game map, Game instructions

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Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC



A Zzap! Sizzler

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Issue 15, June 1986 (Zzap! 64)   19th Mar 2013 01:09
ZZAP!'s margin megastar, Rocky Rockford, is back in yet another chapter of the ever popular Boulderdash series. This time, however, our rock-pushing hero has donned a space suit and his adventures are set in the infinite voids of space rather than underground. There is a new set of nasties to confound and confuse the poor fellow and the graphics are different, but the object of the game remains the same: collect a set amount of diamonds from one of sixteen different caves and escape within a given lime limit.

The playing area is roughly three screens long by two screens high and scrolls with Rockford as he moves. Each cave usually comprises four basic elements -- metal plates, rocks, walls and diamonds -- along with various combinations of adversaries (see separate panel). Rocky can tunnel through plates and diamonds, but he can't pass through walls or boulders, and certain nasties kill him on contact.

Although the game is set in space, boulders and diamonds obey Earth's laws of gravity, ie they fall unless they are resting on something. However, boulders and diamonds don't like sitting on other boulders and diamonds, and they fall off.

If a falling boulder or diamond hits Rocky, or he runs into something nasty, he blows up and loses one of his three lives. Fortunately, a new life is awarded every 500 points. When the allotted number of diamonds have been collected, the screen flashes and it's time to make tracks for the exit, a distinctive flashing square. Any remaining time is converted into a bonus, and Rocky is transported to the next cave. If the time limit is exceeded, though, it costs him a life. When all of the sixteen caves have been solved, the game starts again on the next of the five levels.

THE SIXTEEN CAVES

CAVE A: INTRO

A relatively straightforward cave where the object is to simply collect the set amount of diamonds and escape. There are a couple of tricky places where a boulder could possibly flatten Rocky, but if he's careful there shouldn't be any hassle.

CAVE B: FORT KNOX

The first of many difficult screens. Over fifty diamonds are enclosed within four sets of brick 'prisons' -- how is Rockford going to get them? Well, there are six Mouths at the top of the screen which need to be guided to the correct place on the screen before dropping boulders on them and . . .

CAVE C: TRANSFORM

This screen heralds the appearance of magic walls. There aren't enough diamonds lying around the cave to allow Rocky to finish, but dropping a boulder through one of the walls generates a diamond. Ah! There is one small problem, though -- the magic walls are in abundance and if a diamond accidentally falls through a second magic wall . . .

CAVE D: REUNION I

Greetings to the Monolith! There are several Eyes in this cave and since they turn into diamonds on contact with the Monolith, all you have to do is lead them to it . . . or is there more to it?

CAVE E: MAZE I

Just collect the diamonds and get out. The many Mouths scattered about this cave mean that Rockford has to be very stealthy on his travels, but otherwise this is straightforward.

CAVE F: MAZE II

Similar to the Maze I, but there are a lot more diamonds to collect and even more Mouths to avoid . . .

CAVE G: OBSTACLE

The Monolith returns! It is swiftly cutting off Rocky's exit, so he must quickly whizz past it, grab the diamonds and get out before it grows too large to allow him to do so.

CAVE H: EASY

There are three levels of magic wall and no diamonds. Just remember the old adage 'magic walls turn rocks into diamonds and diamonds into rocks and get to work . . . but, be careful with this cave -- don't set off the wall until all the rocks have been set up sufficiently.

CAVE I: CAVE-IN

No nasties, but lots of linked vertical tubes filled with rocks and diamonds. If Rocky's careful and doesn't do anything silly -- like waiting beneath a falling rock -- he won't have too many problems in completing this cave.

CAVE J: THE GUARDS

There are only ten jewels to collect, but each is sitting at the end of a sealed tube patrolled by a Mouth. Fortunately, there is a line of boulders which can be dropped on the Mouths once they have been released.

CAVE K: GOOD LUCK

This is just about impossible! No diamonds, just a Monolith enclosed within a small brick 'prison', and a few Mouths. Blow a hole in the wall to free the Monolith, and then quickly trap it again to turn it into diamonds.

CAVE L: THE TRAP

Another tricky cave. The Monolith must be trapped before it grows loo large; not easy, since the Monolith spreads at a horrendous rate.

CAVE M: REUNION II

Lots of Eyes and the Monolith. Simply get the former to meet the latter, and a multitude of diamonds are yours for the taking.

CAVE N: LIBERATOR

The Monolith is completely enclosed by Mouths on the left hand side of the cave, and on the right hand side there are loads of trapped Eyes. Now, you'd think that you have to somehow get the Eyes to the Monolith to produce diamonds, but you don't. Well, not necessarily . . .

CAVE O: PERFECT

Deceptive screen this one. A magic wall and the Monolith are the only things present. Trap the Monolith and use the magic wall to get the rest of the required diamonds? Not really because you must get 95 diamonds before you can escape. A little clue though . . . this Monolith isn't like most of its genre.

CAVE P: THE FRONTIER

The final screen is a tricky one. The playfield is split horizontally by a magic wall and underneath that is a whole pile of Mouths. Plenty of diamonds to collect but how is Rocky going to get past all those horrible Mouths?

Yet another Boulderdash game and as with the other two the only real change is its suffix. Admittedly the graphics are different as the packaging goes out of its way to tell you (putting Metalgrafik (tm) on the inlay is a little bit strong considering it's only that old favourite bas-relief (tm)). The new screens are reasonably well designed and provide more than a fair amount of enjoyment for Boulderdash junkies, maybe even £9.95 worth of enjoyment. If First Star were to play really fair they should release a Boulderdash editor but I doubt if they will as it would cut their throats financially with regards to Boulderdash. Never mind, I must admit to thoroughly enjoying Boulderdash III and would probably even cough up the tenner asked for it.

Graphics 73%
Effective and pretty looking bas-relief which is quite strange if you're used to the normal Boulderdash style graphics.

Sound 62%
The original Boulderdash tune makes another appearance and the usual tinkle, tinkle, boom spot FX are in evidence.

Hookability 93%
As with all the games in the series it's fiendishly addictive -- you feel you just HAVE to solve each screen . . .

Lastability 93%
And nearly all of the screens are difficult.

Value For Money 88%
A tenner for a program which will have you puzzling and playing for weeks!.

Overall 93%
If you want your hair to go grey and drop out (if you don't tear it out beforehand) then go out and buy this incredibly addictive program.


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This title was first added on 14th September 2012
This title was most recently updated on 19th March 2013


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