Boulder Dash

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You are Rockford, and you have to dig through monster infested caves in search of diamonds. In each level you must collect a certain number of these diamonds, in order to open a portal to the next stage. Enemies can be squashed by falling boulders, which are released when the ground below them is removed or they are pushed onto empty ground, but be careful because these can also squash you. In later levels, difficulty is increased by many puzzle elements and shorter time limits.


Boulder Dash Arcade First stage of the DECO release
Boulder Dash Epoch Super Cassette Vision Starting out
Boulder Dash Arcade Title screen (Exidy release)
Boulder Dash ZX Spectrum Collect diamonds, but watch out for the deadly boxes!

Alternate Titles

  • "Boulder Dash Vol. 1" -- iPhone title
  • "Boulder Dash - Starring: Rockford" -- Prism Leisure distributed title
  • "バルダーダッシュ" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

This was and still is a fun little game to play. NES David Lafferty (16)
The best game ever !! It has everything we want: action, strategic thinking, puzzles, and a construction kit to create our own levels. Commodore 64 Arno Weber (3)

Critic Reviews

Mean Machines NES Aug, 1991 92 out of 100 92
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Game Boy Jan, 1991 908 out of 1000 91
Joystick (French) NES Dec, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Total!! UK Magazine NES Jan, 1992 90 out of 100 90
Génération 4 Game Boy Nov, 1990 9 out of 10 90 Commodore 64 Jan 03, 2011 15 out of 20 75 Wii Jan 03, 2011 15 out of 20 75
IGN Commodore 64 Jun 24, 2009 7 out of 10 70
All Game Guide NES 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) MSX Apr, 1986 4.75 out of 10 48


Topic # Posts Last Post
Boulder dash clones 1 Peter Vrenken
Jan 07, 2014


1001 Video Games

Boulder Dash appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


A real Amiga version of Boulder Dash was never released. But Emerald Mine, a close variant for the Amiga, became very popular.

Arcade version

Boulder Dash was so popular on the home computer that it was ported to an arcade version. Usually, it is the other way around; in that a popular arcade game gets ported to the home system.

Atari 2600 port

In 2012 a port to the Atari 2600 was released as homebrew software with support from First Star Software. The programmers Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch worked for almost a decade to port the game completely on the VCS.


  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - Listed in the 'A to Z of Classic Games' article (Great)
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #31 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #1 'It's the Zzap! 64 Top 64!'
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne / Robin Hogg)
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