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Game Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash is a 2D maze-puzzle video game released in 1984 by First Star Software for Atari 8-bit computers.[4] It was created by Canadian developers Peter Liepa and Chris Gray. The player controls Rockford, who collects treasures while evading hazards.[5]

Game Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash was ported to many 8-bit and 16-bit systems and turned into a coin-operated arcade game. It was followed by multiple sequels and re-releases and influenced games such as Repton and direct clones such as Emerald Mine.

As an aspiring game-developer, Peter Liepa reached out to a local publisher called "In-Home Software". They put him in touch with a young man (Chris Gray) who had submitted a game in Basic, that was not really commercial quality, but they thought it had potential.[6] The project began with the intention of converting this game to machine language and releasing it through In-Home Software, but according to Liepa, it quickly became apparent that the game was very primitive.[7] He decided to expand the idea and bring some more interesting dynamics to the game. He started coding a new project in Forth,[8] which took about six months.[9] About the time it became clear that this was a shippable product, Liepa migrated Boulder Dash from Forth to assembler.[10]

Being dissatisfied with the lack of contact from In-Home Software, Liepa began searching for a new publisher.[11] His choice was First Star Software and according to him the company was very happy to publish the game.[12]

A port of the original title was licensed by Exidy for use with their Max-A-Flex arcade cabinet. This version released in 1984 allowed buying 30 seconds of game time.[13] This was the first home computer title to be converted to an arcade console.[13]

II Computing said that "Bright, colorful animation coupled with a breezy story line make this game more than just a momentary diversion."[21] Computer Games magazine called it an "incredible addicting maze game along the lines of Dig Dug, but faster and more exciting."[3]

Mean Machines gave the Game Boy port of Boulder Dash a score of 90%, praising it as "one of the finest video games ever written", describing the game as "one to buy as soon as possible" and noting its faithfulness to the original Commodore 64 version.[22] The same publication reviewed the NES version favourably, stating that it was "an extremely impressive title" and "one of the greatest games ever written". It was given a 92% rating.[23]

IGN reviewed the Virtual Console release of the Commodore 64 version. Although the graphics and sound were both found to be dated they enjoyed the game stating that it "still feels as fresh as it did in 1984". They concluded by stating "though it doesn't look like much, Boulder Dash rocks."[25]

Fast forward nearly four decades, and Boulder Dash has become one of the longest running video game franchises with over 20 versions of the game, on over 20 different platforms, evolving over time to remain a fixture in the retro gaming space and in video game history.

You are Rockford, and you have to dig through monster infested caves in search of diamonds. In each level you must collect a certain number of these diamonds, in order to open a portal to the next stage. Enemies can be squashed by falling boulders, which are released when the ground below them is removed or they are pushed onto empty ground, but be careful because these can also squash you. In later levels, difficulty is increased by many puzzle elements and shorter time limits.

Boulder Dash was so popular on the home computer that it was one of the first home computer games to be ported to the arcades, usually it is the other way around; in that a popular arcade game gets ported to the home systems. The initial Exidy version was simply an Atari 800 in an arcade cabinet, running a slightly modified Atari 8-bit version of the game giving 30 seconds of gameplay per credit. The 1985 Data East DECO version had improved graphics and slight level layout changes due to it's vertical monitor layout. A later Data East arcade version was released in 1990 with improved graphics and new level layouts.

In 2012 a port to the Atari 2600 was released as homebrew software with support from First Star Software. The programmers Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch worked for almost a decade to port the game completely on the VCS.

Epoch Super Cassette Vision added by Rola. PC Booter added by Trixter. iPhone added by Dee96. Atari 2600 added by Jo ST. Intellivision added by William Moeller. Game Boy added by Sciere. FM-7, Electron, BBC Micro added by Kabushi. Wii added by gamewarrior. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Atari 8-bit, PC-88 added by Terok Nor. ColecoVision, NES, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Amstrad CPC added by Servo. Commodore 64 added by wanax. MSX added by koffiepad.

The ingenious level designs were what made Boulder Dash so addictive. Gems had to be collected within a time limit to unlock the exit, but some were positioned in places that would need planning to get to, often using the physics of falling boulders to block or clear areas. Of course, the puzzles got increasingly tough as the levels progressed.

Written by Peter Liepa and Chris Gray, Boulder Dash was published by First Star Software, which still puts out new versions of the game to this day. Due to its original success, Boulder Dash was ported to all kinds of platforms, and the years since have seen no fewer than 20 new iterations of Boulder Dash, and a fair few clones, too.

Each location in the list matrix will have a name: either wall for the outside boundary, soil for the diggable stuff, rock for a round, moveable boulder, gem for a collectable item, and finally, rockford to symbolise our hero. We can also define an Actor for Rockford, as this will make things like switching images and tracking other properties easier.

An important thing to notice about the process of scanning through the list matrix to test for boulder movement is that we need to read the list from the bottom upwards; otherwise, because the boulders move downwards, we may end up testing a boulder multiple times if we test from the beginning to the end of the list. Similarly, if we read the list matrix from the top down, we may end up moving a boulder down and then when reading the next row, coming across the same one again, and moving it a second time.

Wait, WHAT? How the hell is this difficult? The first time I've ever played a Boulderdash game was on the good old MSX home computer, in 1985, and it was immediate pick up and play. Both the controls and the objectives are clear as day from the outset.

For those curious, here's the original game:Might even make the okayish graphics of this new version look brilliant in comparison, but to be honest, there's only so much you can do with these kinds of games, where graphics are concerned, seeing as this isn't a fully 3D open world game...

This game looks like a rotten pile. The visuals and gameplay look terrible. The near constant references to the creator are sad. Nobody knows or gives a front door about Boulderdash or especially the original creator. Yet I think the text and screenshots on the eShop page mention the games name about 5 times. I found it so hilarious that I had to show my partner who also found it Alan Partridge-levels or hilarious. Why so many mentions?

I don't like the new design for Rockford and it's missing the Boulder Dash theme and all the iconic sound effects as well. For an anniversary title they should have gone back to the roots. But I love the gameplay and I bought the 1984 Commodore 64 original on the Wii Virtual Console for nostalgia and to finally beat it.

Boulder Dash was addicting as heck back then and it had hundreds of clones and many sequels. A true retro classic. One of the games came with a level editor - Boulder Dash Maker anyone? Spent many hours creating stages for my family. It was one of the very best games at a time when stuff like Super Mario Bros. 1 didn't exist. Emerald Mine was my favourite clone, also available on the C64.

I wish they would do a proper stylish version (bring back Rockford's old design and the original's music) with good new levels - or a compilation of the old games. But this one I'd rather skip. I've played it on mobile and it felt like a mediocre clone. And there are enough mediocre clones of this game already (and probably better ones too).

I feel like any newer BD game that adds powerup in the mix completely misses the point of what made BD great. You had one joystick and one button to dig or grab on something that's on an adjacent square, and that's it. And the variety came from clever level design that played around with some of the quirks of the physics engine, which by the way for its time was very complex. Rocks would roll off the edge of bricks walls and other rocks they're sitting on top off, but not off titanium wall tiles. Then sometimes a white brick wall could be a "magic" wall which turns into diamonds any rock that falls through it, so long as there's open space under it for those diamonds to spawn. You had firefly enemies that explode when coming in contact with you or the ever growing amoeba (which I would call the "blob" because of the 1986 film, because that's what it reminded of XD).

It's a classic that has sadly faded off the face of the earth in its original incarnation. Worth mentioning too that Boulder Dash had a famous "level editor" called Construction Kit. Long before Super Mario Maker, in 1986, you could create your own Boulder Dash games on computers like the C64 and it was awesome!

@ThanosReXXX Just to clarify, the central gameplay/premise isn't hard to grok at all. The perspective, however, is kind of odd if you're new to it; the way you can travel in all four directions unaffected by gravity, but the rocks and gems will fall and roll. I'm not new to it, but I felt like I had to consider the fact that some players could be.

@StuartGipp Hm, okay. Fair point if you look at it that way, I suppose.I just always saw it as a side-view game, so as the character climbing up and down walls as seen from the side, so it always made sense to me. 041b061a72

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