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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.

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.


Boulder Dash Commodore 64 Title screen
Boulder Dash Commodore 64 That green slime slowly takes over the screen...
Boulder Dash Commodore 64 Collecting diamonds on the first level
Boulder Dash Commodore 64 Be careful not to trap yourself...or is there still a way out?

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γƒ₯" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The best game ever !! It has everything we want: action, strategic thinking, puzzles, and a construction kit to create our own levels. Arno Weber (3) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

Critic Reviews

Your Commodore Jan, 1985 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Pixel-Heroes.de Aug, 2003 10 out of 10 100
Personal Computer Games Dec, 1984 10 out of 10 100
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Dec, 1984 9 out of 10 90
64'er 1991 9 out of 10 90
Australian Commodore and Amiga Review Dec, 1986 81 out of 100 81
Your Computer Dec, 1984 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Jeuxvideo.com Jan 03, 2011 15 out of 20 75
IGN Jun 24, 2009 7 out of 10 70
Happy Computer Jan, 1985 Unscored Unscored


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 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
wanax (338) added Boulder Dash (Commodore 64) on Apr 11, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Rola (8277), Trixter (9115), Dee96 (117), Jo ST (24056), William Moeller (9), Sciere (792685), Kabushi (257694), gamewarrior (5042), Pseudo_Intellectual (64452), Terok Nor (32503), Servo (57355) and koffiepad (10503)
atari 50th