Peter Liepa‘s classic Boulder Dash was first released for the Atari 800 in 1984 (the Commodore 64 version came later).
Boulder Dash is one of those games that is very simple, but also very clever. Not to mention: extremely devious. In some levels, if you put a foot wrong, you’re toast and must re-start.
The aim is to collect gems by guiding Rockford around a level by digging dirt and moving rocks, while at the same time avoiding being crushed or blocked by falling boulders or touching any dangerous creatures. Once you’ve collected a certain number of gems the exit opens, onto the next level. If you don’t make it in time: you lose a life.
The levels in this first version of Boulder Dash are iconic. They are beautifully designed and gradually get more difficult as you progress. In fact: Boulder Dash is surely one of the best games ever made – a masterpiece of video game design.