Boulder Dash®-XL™ Review

By , on December 5, 2012

Boulder Dash®-XL™
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Good variety of modes.
  • Good music (if not a little sharp).


  • Nothing that really captures the player, whether they be new to the game or not.


While the variety of choice is nice, Boulderdash is a game of its time, and this does little to revamp it for a new audience.

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The original Bourder Dash is one of those games that most people who played games in the 80s and early 90s should be very familiar with. Not just that it was ported to every system imaginable, but because there were a million knock-offs as well. In the end, it was the same simple game. Walk around in the dirt, gather gems and avoid getting crushed by the boulders once you moved under them, thus triggering a rockslide. The levels were often part reflex action game, and part puzzle, as you planned which way to approach gathering certain gems from, and then getting out of the way of impending rocky doom as soon as humanly possible. Bourder Dash -XL attempts to bring the game into modern times while still keeping the core experience alive through a plethora of game modes. Let's see if they succeed.

The controls are as they always were, with the choice of either directional arrows or an analogue stick. Move around and dig. If you are standing underneath a boulder, once you move, it will fall (as well as any boulders it might be holding in place). You can also use the dig button to remove the dirt from any space above, below, or beside you. These keep the same through the various modes available which include score attack, puzzle, retro, zen and the classic arcade mode.

Most of the modes are self explanatory, and offer a selection of levels to choose from. A personal favourite was puzzle, which presents a small area in which all the gems need to be collected, but really the core experience stays the same. This sadly rings true for the visuals as well. Sure the retro mode swaps the modelled character for some pixel art but all in all the presentation is rather muddy and uninspired. The music has some good moments, but comes across as tinny and rather too sharp.

The main problem with Bourder Dash -XL though is Bourder Dash itself. It really is a game of its time, that has not aged well, and this supposed re-imaging really just takes the game, throws some lighting and models onto it, and slightly tweaks the win state for its five different modes. Those looking for a nostalgic throwback might enjoy this, but on the whole, it's a rather average experience that will be hard pressed to find widespread appeal.


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