Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Review - Screenshot 1 of 3

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

It’s wonderful to us that 2020 is best Boulder Dash’s 30th anniversary. In truth, come to consider it, that may’t perhaps be proper, as a result of we bear in mind this one again at the Apple II. Indeed, a handy guide a rough look on-line unearths that Boulder Dash was once first launched in 1984, which might make this Switch model Boulder Dash 36th Anniversary, if anything else. Or it will if we weren’t getting hefty “late mobile game port” vibes from this recreation’s extraordinarily acquainted phone-optimised consumer interface. And sure, it seems, this was once a cellular recreation. Back in 2014. Which was once Boulder Dash’s precise 30th anniversary. Hmmmm.

Still, all issues thought to be, that is veritably Boulder Dash, and also you’ve in all probability performed it or one in every of its derivatives (such because the superb Repton) earlier than. We’ve observed the hero, Rockford (for sure one of the vital frequently-redesigned characters ever), rock up on Nintendo methods up to now – but even so his bows on DS and 3DS (2007’s Boulder Dash: Rocks! and 2011’s Boulder Dash XL), the unique Boulder Dash noticed a NES port again in 1990 (wait, that will have to be what that is the 30th anniversary of! Let’s all believe that and transfer on).

Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Review - Screenshot 2 of 3

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

If you one way or the other haven’t encountered it earlier than, Boulder Dash is fairly tricky to get your head round in the beginning. You have to transport round caves gathering pieces (most commonly vibrant gemstones) whilst warding off enemies and hazards. The bizarre bit is that whilst Rockford strikes as even though he is in a top-down recreation (assume Chip’s Challenge), gravity is exactly in 2D side-scrolling mode. If you dig out the filth underneath – sure! – a boulder, it is going to fall instantly down and weigh down anything else in its trail, in spite of the truth you’ll nonetheless manoeuvre in all instructions. Not best are the boulders slaves to gravity, they’re additionally slaves to momentum, they usually’ll roll down “steps” for those who’ve left this sort of trail within the filth, which might require you to – you guessed it – sprint out of the way in which. It’s slightly bizarre, however you’ll temporarily get the grasp of it.

Graphically, Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary can absolute best be described as “functional”. It doesn’t glance unhealthy, but it surely doesn’t have any actual aptitude. That stated, it’s infrequently a recreation that has ever driven its impressive appears to be like as a promoting level. With one thing as in the end challenging as Boulder Dash, crucial factor is the facility to right away parse what’s to be had to you in any given scenario. And you’ll. So it’s precisely as handsome because it must be; it’s a easy arcade puzzle recreation that lives or dies on its loss of visible litter.

Unfortunately, the menus are a distinct tale. Stiff, banal and unusually complicated, they’re fairly frankly hideous remnants of the sport’s shameful freemium previous. Speaking of which, there’s fairly numerous that about. Each degree ranks you one, two or 3 stars in accordance with your ranking, with positive numbers of stars had to release later worlds. You too can accumulate pieces inside the ranges that offers you an more straightforward time – the facility to freeze gravity as an example, or use dynamite to explode inconvenient partitions.

Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Review - Screenshot 3 of 3

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

You get such a lot of of this stuff thrown at you that we discovered ourselves questioning if the sport have been balanced in this sort of means that the degrees had been near-unbeatable with out them, and their microtransaction intent changed into jarringly transparent. Of route, it will be unfair to criticise Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary for having prior to now been microtransaction-heavy, however merely giving the important pieces to the participant feels slightly bit like a shrug of the shoulders the place deeper design tweaks would had been strongly preferable. That’s hypothesis, in fact, however the truth that the sport raises those emotions is a symptom of feeling slightly undercooked, slightly affordable. And, , it is affordable. But there’s being affordable and there’s feeling affordable, and best a kind of is sure.

You’re undoubtedly some distance from getting short-changed, thoughts you. There are virtually 300 ranges right here with additional characters to release, vintage 1984 ranges to play and – in all probability maximum excitingly – new phases from Boulder Dash’s authentic creators. There’s a massive quantity of content material to stay you plugging away and the degrees get very tricky, in no time. If you favor Boulder Dash, that is virtually undoubtedly the model to get.