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Description

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.

Screenshots

Boulder Dash Game Boy Final world gameplay
Boulder Dash ColecoVision Be careful not to crush yourself with a boulder!
Boulder Dash Atari 8-bit Title screen
Boulder Dash Atari 8-bit Collecting diamonds in the first cave

Promo Images

Boulder Dash Magazine Advertisement
Boulder Dash Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Champion Boulder Dash" -- Japan and Middle East MSX title
  • "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 Groups

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

Amstrad Action Amstrad CPC Oct, 1985 93 out of 100 93
The Video Game Critic NES Mar 10, 2000 A- 91
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Dec, 1984 9 out of 10 90
Amtix! Amstrad CPC Nov, 1985 89 out of 100 89
Play Time NES Dec, 1991 86 out of 100 86
Total! (Germany) Game Boy Jun, 1995 2 out of 6 80
Eurogamer.net (UK) Wii Oct 02, 2008 7 out of 10 70
Power Play Game Boy Nov, 1990 67 out of 100 67
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) NES Aug, 1990 24 out of 40 60
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library NES 2016 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50

Forums

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

Trivia

1001 Video Games

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

Amiga

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 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.

Awards

  • 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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