Boulder Dash, Atari ST

A conversion of the classic Atari 8-bit/Commodore 64 puzzle game, Boulder Dash, although this one dispenses with the original levels and introduces new ones.

In my opinion, it fails because of that.

The original levels were clever and had a gradual learning curve. These new levels are difficult from the outset, and become frustrating quite quickly. I struggled to complete any of them. Some of these new levels feature cruel traps too. This isn’t a conversion of the original, it is a different interpretation (someone decided to use their own levels rather than the originals), and – it has to be said – that those new levels are not very fair, and not very good.

It’s a pity because – otherwise – the Atari ST conversion of Peter Liepa‘s classic is pretty much spot on. The game suits the style of the ST and graphically and sonically it is good. The only downside – other than the rubbish new levels – is the rather bland scorecard at the top of the screen.

Boulder Dash on the Atari ST is worth a play if you’re a Boulder Dash fan, to see the strange new levels, but is otherwise too frustrating to consider worthy, or canon.

Note: after a bit more research I have to conclude that this conversion of Boulder Dash is either a homebrew release or a tech demo. Someone made it for fun. I can’t be 100% sure either way. I am seeing that First Star did not officially release the original Boulder Dash for the Atari ST though.

More: Boulder Dash on Wikipedia

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