Boulder Dash, Atari 8-bit

Peter Liepa and Chris Gray‘s classic Boulder Dash was first released for the Atari 8-bit 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 cute character Rockford around a maze by digging dirt and moving rocks, while at the same time avoiding being crushed or blocked by falling boulders, or touching any dangerous hazards. 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.

See also: Boulder Dash Special

More: Boulder Dash on Wikipedia

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