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Published on July 19th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor

Boulder Dash-XL Review

Developer: First Star Software, Inc.
Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade
MSP: 800 MSP ($10)

You say the name Boulder Dash and my immediate thought is that of a classic. We have seen many classics re-made, cleaned up and re-released for the different consoles respective networks. So it came as no surprise that a classic such as Boulder Dash was getting a bit of a re-boot, but this isnt just a classic re-release. There was plenty of additions that add to the games already classic nature and add to the value of your valued 800 MSP.

Straight from the package, and by package I mean “Full Game Download,” you will get five different game modes: arcade, Puzzle, Zen, Time Challenge and, my personal favorite, Retro. “Retro” is a re-launch of the original Boulder Dash, launched in 1984 on Commodore 64. From the core gameplay all the way to the classic 8-bit look of the game. All the character have been redesigned to fit the all new 3D environments and all the music has been sampled from the original to fit the 8-bit style. Yes this is as original as you can possibly get in a re-release.

Arcade Mode has quite a lot of levels for you to venture through. Before each game you can choose between two different characters. The object of the game is to avoid being hit by monsters, and boulders as you try to nab as many diamonds as you possible can before the timer runs out. You do need a certain amount of diamonds before the exit will become available, so if you think that you can run through a level with a couple diamonds and head right for the exit, you will not be able to enter.

The game will pit you against 100 different levels and the difficulty increases the higher you go up the ladder. The more you dig, the more obstacles begins to shuffle. Watch out for boulders as they will come down on top of you and end the level, and monster will hurt you and slow you down.

The game is extremely easy to pick up and play. There is not a whole lot to learn when you first start the game up. You move horizontally and vertically across the stages digging up dirt, pushing boulders out the way, all awhile can be done stationary. All this while your main objective is to collect diamonds.

The art style is very colorful and bright. Each levels has been re-designed to fit an HD experience, and the music mixed with high res graphics make for a very interesting experience. The game features a wide variety of difficult puzzles that will keep your mind racing. You will be moving your character without even noticing it, and at the same time your eyes will wonder to the right side of the screen, checking out how you stand against the clock.Even though I dies in the game a ton, the game was still a blast to play.

For those wondering what the game has to offer here is a quick break down:

Features of Boulder Dash-XL include:

  • An updated HD look and feel, featuring 720p graphics
  • 4 new game modes (“Arcade”, plus all new “Puzzle”, “Zen” and “Time Challenge”)
  • A Retro Mode offering 25 “retro” Caves for a total of five game modes in all
  • New scoring mechanism adding new excitement and challenges for High Score hunters
  • Four beautiful and varied game worlds
  • Over 150 all-new Caves to explore while battling monsters and grabbing gems
  • Online Ranking Lists/Leaderboards
  • Achievements

Final Truth:

We have all had those experiences. Whether it was with a full boxed retail release or a very simple, pick-up-and-play arcade title, we all have had those experiences that we look at a game with a fresh outlook. Yes, the game is very difficult. Yes, it will keep your mind guessing. Yes, it will keep you in rush mode, and yes it will leave you with a sense of satisfaction. Overall there are many games on the arcade that do not deliver enough bang for your points. But Boulder Dash-XL sheds a whole new light on the arcade and provides more than than the price of admission.

[xrr label=”Rating: 8.5/10″ rating=8.5/10]

+ Bang for your buck.
+ Over 100 different levels.
+ Art Style.
+ Five different game modes.
+ Challenging.
Not much music variation.

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About the Author

I have been a video game enthusiast for many many years, and have been in the industry for the last 10 years. I love what I do and I love, well VIDEO GAMES! I have a degree in computer programming and currently working on a arcade/indie title.

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