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Boulder Dash (1985)            

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Details (Amstrad CPC) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Arcade
Peter Liepa, Chris Gray, Dalali Software, Ltd

64K
1
Yes
Eng
N/A
Audio cassette
Europe
Boulder Dash 2: Rockfords Riot
Boulder Dash 3
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Amstrad CPC


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Your Reviews

Issue 1 (Nov 1985) (Amtix)   15th Jun 2016 03:52
Mirrorsoft, £9.95 cass
Author: Dalali Software Ltd.

About two years ago Peter Liepe wrote Boulderdash on the Atari 800 for First Star. It received such acclaim that First Star soon released it for the Commodore 64 thus creating the legend of the Boulderdash conversions. Now through a licence deal with Mirrorsoft, Boulderdash has finally wended its way onto the Amstrad after gracing the inn-ards of many other micros.
The scenario is relatively simple. Playing Rockford (a sort of cute stick insect and the margin hero of ZZAP! 64 magazine). you have to make your way through sixteen caves. In each cave you need to collect a certain quantity ofiewels in a set amount of time. Trie number of jewels and time allowed vary for each cave and (surprise, surprise) things get harder the further you proceed.
There are 16 caves lettered A to P, you are allowed to start on screens A, E, I and M. The caves are made up from four basic building blocks; walls, earth, boulders and jewels. The walls define the boundaries of where you can move, surrounding the outer edge of the cave, and they also form barriers within the cave. The earth holds just about everything in place and may be eaten away by moving over it, you have to be careful though
since earth usually supports boulders. Even though you can move in all four directions the boulders are lumbered with the laws of gravity. Eating away a section of earth holding a boulder isn't that deadly. You can just stay there with boulder teetering on your head indefinitely. Move away and the boulder falls into the space you've left. Try going down-wards with a boulder above you and it's likely you'll be minus a Rockford and less a life. The dumb boulders, mindlessly obeying the laws of gravity, will squish you pixel thin if you let them. Boulders have their own brand of physics to which they adhere. A single boulder may not sit on top of another single boulder as it will fall off. A single boulder may sit on top of a single piece of earth as it s more supportive.
The jewels are there to be col-lected. In some caves the amount of jewels you need to get to the next cave aren't actually visible. After a quick spot of lateral thinking and a glimpse at the cassette intay you soon find out that you have to destroy some of the cave's denizens.
The creatures you meet in the caves are Butterflies, Fireflies and Amoebas. Fireflies move anti-clockwise around the spare space in the later caves. Their touch is fatal though they're not immune to having the odd boulder dropped on them. If they are splatted the surrounding 9 squares are blasted away into nothingness. Butterflies are similar creatures though they move clockwise. If you splat one of these then 9 jewels appear in its stead. The amoeba is a strange beast, constantly ex-panding. This green and orange blob starts life only one square in size but continually expands until it reaches a certain body volume, when it suddenly trans-form into megatons of boulders.
You play Boulderdash through a scrolling window covering nearly all of the screen but only displaying about a third of the overall cave area. When Rockford nears the edge of the screen, more cave scenery scrolls into view. The screen moves about characterise taking advantage of the Amstrad's own built in hardware scroll. All the usual one or two player options are packed in and the use of keys is also allowed.
Also, following the latest trend of back to back software. Atari Boulderdash, grandaddy of them all, has been included on the EL side.

Control keys: Z.X left/right;
semi-colon / oblique up/down
SHIFT for fire.

CRITICISM
Being somewhat of a Boulderdash veteran and having played and loved it on the Atari, Commodore, MSX and Spectrum, I was leased to see a version for traddles. I must admit after seeing the Spectrum's screen constipate when trying to scroll smoothly on its version of Boulderdash. I had my reserv-ations as to how well it could be done on the Amstrad. Though the screen scrolls about in char-acter jumps, it's still very effective because of the sheer speed of movement. This has to be the fastest version to date. Also the graphics have been slightly improved on, making other versions seem dull and lacklustre. Though in porky pixel mode (mode 0), the use of colours make the screen display seem detailed and interesting. A vast improvement on the major-ity of games using Mode 0. the gameplay elements that made the other versions so addictive are all present. With the extra speed, Amstrad Boulderdash plays in a remarkably similar way to the Atari version. All in all still one of most original and frustratingly addictive games to date, the Amstrad version being best effort graphically yet. I just look forward to Boulae
ierdash II
(Rockford's Riot).
The graphics on this vers-ion are certainty interest-ing but I'm not sure whether they are that much of an improvement over the orig-inal. The scrolling put me off a bit as well. Even so. the game is a worthy successor to previous versions and Amstrad owners should be pleased that they have access to a remarkable game. This is money well spent.
I wasn't too impressed when I first started playing. There seemed to something missing. Little details like the title screen weren't quite up to the standard of the Commodore or Atari versions. Having played it for quite a bit now, my prejudice has died and I now believe it deserves the same success as its predecess-ors. The scrolling still annoys me somewhat but other details are just different rather than inferior. Everybody should like this game — it's incredibly addictive, highly colourful and, on the whole, excellently animated. Rockford looks at home on the Amstrad.

Presentation 80%
Very good looking indeed with a reasonable range of options.

Graphics 79%
Chunky though effective, making gooduseof porky pixel mode.

Sound 59%
Unimpressive though fairly effective.

Playability 93%
Great fun from the very start, though a good squint at the inlay is advised.

Addictive qualities 91%
Extremely addictive with very high frustration factor...

Value for money 78%
A mite overpriced at £9.95

Overall 89%
Definitely worth a place in any self respecting Amstrad owner's tape library.


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History


This title was first added on 17th December 2011
This title was most recently updated on 15th June 2016


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