Year Of Release: 1985
Studio: First Star Software
Boulder Dash from First Software is a very interesting arcade game to talk about. You see it was the norm in the 1980’s and 1990’s for there to be an arcade game and then weeks, months maybe even a year down the line a version for the home consoles or home computers would be released, but Boulder Dash did things in reverse. You see originally, Boulder Dash was released in 1984 for various homes systems. The next year however a slightly improved version of the game would be released in arcades.
When it was released in arcades, Boulder Dash looked shaper than most of the home versions. But the leap was really not as big as you would think it would be. Truth be told there is only really so much you can do with a game like Boulder Dash in the graphics department. The idea of the game is that you play the role of a man called Rockford. Rockford travels all over the world, exploring cave systems trying to find treasure. Of course if being a treasure hunter was easy we would all do it and Rockford as well as collecting treasure must make sure he avoids creatures, cave ins, explosions and makes it to the exit before time runs out.
On paper Boulder Dash is a very easy game. You move Rockford around the level digging the mud, rocks or whatever you want to call it out of the way. You collect treasure and you can also make it so boulders can fall on enemies doing so can reveal more treasure for you and knowing what enemies drop what treasure is how you build up a high score. The arcade version of the game actually gives you hints on the best way to get a high score. The game is really challenging as if you are not watching what you are doing then it is very easy to dig in the wrong place and cause a cave in. But at the same time you have to move fast so you make it to the end of the level. The end result is a really fun game that really did capture the imagination of gamers back in the 80’s. The game was a huge hit on the home computers and systems, but as the arcade version came out after while popular it perhaps would have been even more so had people not been playing it in their homes for months before it appeared in arcades.
Current High Score: NA
Boulder Dash 2 was released for many different home systems and depending on the system had a different sub title such as Rockford’s Riot on the MSX and Rockford’s Revenge on the Commodore 64. The game was the same, but the subtitle was different. Boulder Dash 2 would be released in 1985 with a third game in the series coming in 1986.
A pretty big graphical upgrade was given to the 2nd Boulder Dash game to be released in arcades in 1990. This game would be called Boulder Dash Part 2 and would see a port released on the NES and the Game Boy, but these ports would be just called Boulder Dash.
It would take 12 years for the series to come back. Boulder Dash EX was released for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance in 2002. And was a success. So much so that five years later the Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable would get, Boulder Dash Rocks released for them.
Boulder Dash is still relevant to this day with the Xbox Live Arcade and the iOS getting modern ports of the game. The series would also make the move into 3D with Boulder Dash XL 3D on the Nintendo 3DS.