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Boulder Dash XL review (iOS / Universal)

November 23, 2012

“Hey kid, rock and roll, rock on”

10 word description: Classic action-puzzler, 100+ caves, 5 game modes, Game Center.

10 word review: Impressive, polished touch-screen update of the addictive original game.

You will like this if you enjoy: Action maze games. Dig Dug / Mr Do style games. Boulder Dash, fairly obviously.

The good news: Plenty of content spread across a lot of levels and 5 different modes. Graphics are decent, although I actually prefer the retro ones to the enhanced/updated version. Still a playable and addictive game; stands up well against similar modern games that arguably owe this one a fair amount of credit. No IAPs. Controls work well.

The bad news: Personally, I prefer the retro graphics and would like the option to enable them in all modes, not just the mode with the retro levels. For some reason, I couldn’t get the game to play any music or sounds. That’s odd, might just be an issue on my test devices. Note – I can’t judge the sound so it doesn’t get a rating. This does not affect the overall score.

Arcadelife verdict: I was pleasantly surprised that this game didn’t feel like an ageing embarrassment. It works well as a touch-screen game and the digging/dodging gameplay, although not exactly fresh, is enjoyable and addictive.

Although my initial reaction to the controls was oh great, a huge green D-pad, the controls work well and I didn’t have any problem with them. As for the graphics, I’d love to be able to opt for the retro scheme in all game modes. I don’t really like the new player characters; the rest of the retro graphics are perfectly appropriate for the game and don’t really need to be jazzed up just for the sake of it.

Overall, Boulder Dash XL is a good remake and also a decent iOS game in its own right, without having to rely on nostalgia for its playability. And, no IAPs – yay! The store icon (top right in the pic below) gives you a list of other games from the publisher, not IAPs – just in case you were wondering.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 7.5/10
Audio – n/a
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 10/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

HeroCraft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 6.0.1)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)
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