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SubTerra is a puzzle/action game, reminiscent of the classics Boulder Dash and Chip's Challenge, although SubTerra is more varied.

The basic goal of each level is simple: collect a set amount of gems, then run to the exit. However, a myriad of obstacles block your way, testing your reflexes, your puzzle skills, or both. There's falling rocks, duplication machines, enemies, laser beams, machinery that changes gems, heavy explosives, a variety of tools to help you out, and a monster that eats those tools.

To make things worse, each level has an additional "difficult" mode, requiring more gems, a harder-to-reach exit, and imposing a time limit. A nifty feature is that the tutorial levels, normally the easiest in the set, have a challenging extra puzzle in difficult mode.

Starting with a basic set of slightly over a hundred levels, SubTerra has since expanded with fan-made material to encompass more than 500 different puzzles. Players can use the in-built level editor to make their own, and join in the yearly Level Design Contest.


SubTerra Windows Basic game options screen along with company logo.
SubTerra Windows Level editor
SubTerra Windows Level selection screen.  Some branches will open certain levels around them are solved.
SubTerra Windows Laser Hazard

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User Reviews

A fun game system that shares the spirit of ancestors like ZZT Windows jlebel (2207)

Critic Reviews

Abandonia Reloaded Windows Jun 10, 2005 4.9 out of 5 98 Windows Apr 10, 2007 80 out of 100 80


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The game is roughly 18,000 lines of code, adding up to 900 kilobytes. Also 3000 lines of help files, adding up to 130 kilobytes. Finally 6.7 megabytes of graphics, 1200 kilobytes of sounds and 1.5 megabytes of levels. A full compilation takes four minutes on a 400 MHz machine.

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Contributed to by Crystal Shard (230)