Boulder Dash on the Apple II was coded by Pat Montelo and published by Micro Fun in 1984, and it is arguably one of the best games on the system.
The simple but highly addictive (and devious) nature of Boulder Dash‘s gameplay tends to translate well to any system because the graphics are not very demanding and the gameplay requires the bare minimum (just a one-button joystick, or a keyboard).
You control Rockford – a small bug-like character – who must dig through dirt, collect a certain number of diamonds, avoid boulders falling down onto him, and not get killed by other hazards that are introduced as the levels progress.
Like all classic Boulder Dash conversions, the game features 16 different levels (A to P) and four of them (A, E, I and M) can be selected from the title screen.
For once the graphical style of a game fits the Apple’s II display limitations, and the blues and pinks of Boulder Dash are used very well throughout. Sure, it’s not as visually appealing as, say, the Commodore 64 version, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the gameplay, and most importantly the control system, work properly and give a good experience, and they do just that in this conversion. The game is fast enough to give you the reaction time needed to survive, and the puzzles presented to you are just as much fun to solve (or fail at) as seen in any other version. And – crucially – the levels haven’t been tampered with by the converting programmer.
So, to reiterate: Boulder Dash on the Apple II is possibly one of the best games on the entire platform.
See also: Boulder Dash Special