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Boulder Dash

aka: Boulder Dash - Starring: Rockford, Boulder Dash Vol. 1, Champion Boulder Dash
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Buy on Atari 2600
Buy on Commodore 64
Buy on Game Boy
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Description official descriptions

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.

There are 16 levels to be completed and five different skill levels available, which affect the number of jewels which must be collected and the time limit.


  • バルダーダッシγƒ₯ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PC Booter version)

7 People (3 developers, 4 thanks)

Program design by
Original concept by
Thanks to
Documentation graphic design



Average score: 80% (based on 43 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 141 ratings with 2 reviews)

This was and still is a fun little game to play.

The Good
This was the thrid game (of 3) I ever got for my dear old NES, unfortunatly soon after I got this game my NES imploded and I never managed to complete the game sob sob Anywho, what I do remember of the game was all good, I was 5 at the time, but it was great fun, I never tired of it. The graphics aren't anything special, but after all, it is a NES, but I don't hold that against it. You run around trying to get as many jewels as you can, you have to spash your way through the ground being careful not to allow boulders to fall on top of you. Great Fun.

The Bad
It was very time consuming.

The Bottom Line
A classic NES game, a collectors must.

NES · by David Lafferty (11) · 2003

The best game ever !! It has everything we want: action, strategic thinking, puzzles, and a construction kit to create our own levels.

The Good
Many things. It is a game with a simple setup: You are Rockford exploring a 2-dimensional field called a cave. You objective is to pick up a required number of diamonds and find the exit which opens when you have collected enough diamonds. This is not always an easy job! There are falling boulders, chasing fireflies and butterflies which can be deadly for Rockford. There are in total 12 different elements each with their own properties and special rules. Therefore you need logic and strategic reasoning to solve BD caves. Some cave are so difficult that it can take hours to solve, this makes BD very addictive! I also like the very nice graphics and sounds, they are so recognizable; they make BD a classic among all the games. Finally there is a construction which enables you to create your own caves and there exist tools for packing these caves together to create your own games! If you want to know more about BD please visit my page about this wonderful game: http://www.cs.vu.nl/~aeweber/bd.html.

The Bad
Nothing !!

The Bottom Line
A classic one! Everyone should try this game, to be addicted for hours, days and nights. If you are creative, there's also a construction kit which enables you to create your own levels!

Commodore 64 · by Arno Weber (2) · 2004


1001 Video Games

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


An official Amiga version of Boulder Dash was never released, though Boulder Dash: Construction Kit was, at least under the title Rockford Platinum. In addition 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 one of the first home computer games to be ported to the arcades, usually it is the other way around; in that a popular arcade game gets ported to the home systems. The initial Exidy version was simply an Atari 800 in an arcade cabinet, running a slightly modified Atari 8-bit version of the game giving 30 seconds of gameplay per credit. The 1985 Data East DECO version had improved graphics and slight level layout changes due to it's vertical monitor layout.
A later Data East arcade version was released in 1990 with improved graphics and new level layouts.

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.

Game Art Beyond

In 2018, Boulder Dash was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Boulder Dash was honoured with a high resolution title picture (based on the box artwork) in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the Boulder Dash theme.


  • 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)

Information also contributed by LepricahnsGold

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Boulder Dash-XL
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Boulder Dash III
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Boulder Dash II: Rockford's Revenge
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Boulder Dash: Construction Kit
Released 1987 on Atari ST, DOS, Amiga...
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Santas Xmas Dash 2
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Monster Bash
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Glitch Dash
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Rebound Boy.

Epoch Super Cassette Vision added by Rola. PC Booter added by Trixter. iPhone added by Dee96. Atari 2600 added by Jo ST. Intellivision added by William Moeller. Game Boy added by Sciere. FM-7, BBC Micro, Electron added by Kabushi. Wii added by gamewarrior. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party. Atari 8-bit, PC-88 added by Terok Nor. ZX Spectrum, Apple II, ColecoVision, Amstrad CPC, NES added by Servo. Commodore 64 added by wanax. MSX added by koffiepad.

Additional contributors: MAT, formercontrib, Ricky Derocher, Miron Schmidt, Patrick Bregger, Dee96, S Olafsson, Malte Mundt, Jo ST, FatherJack, robMSX.

Game added July 27th, 2001. Last modified September 20th, 2023.