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Boulder Dash XL 3D Review

A game almost as old as the home computer itself, Boulder Dash has seen many incarnations across pretty much every console and computer from Atari to the more recent XL version on Xbox Live with its newest incarnation Boulder Dash XL 3D being based on the latter, but with extra 3D visuals.

In Boulder Dash XL 3D we yet again join our robotic mining mates Rockford and Crystal as they dig though soft earth to collect precious diamonds before locating a safe exit. As with any underground excavation you need to be wary of what is above you and it's no different for our mechanical miners with large boulders constantly threatening to fall and ultimately crush them. Careful planning is the key here as not only can a wrong move result in a crushing, but also blocking off access to diamonds and worse, getting trapped. 

As you delve deeper into the caves more and more challenges await you, with monsters that will hunt you down or even a strange smoke monster that slowly fills in the game world plus there are a few man made obstacles to overcome like colour coded doors, dynamite and machines that crush rocks into diamonds or vice versa. 

Controlling Rockford and Crystal is very simple using the d-pad to move around, automatically pushing rocks when you walk into the side of them. They can also dig earth to the side of them by using the A button, which allows for even more options when digging around and trying not to get trapped. There are also a few powerups dotted around the caves from with health drops giving you a boost when cornered by a monster, speed ups that allow you to outrun falling rocks and a handy grabber that let's you pull rocks over a larger distance. 

Boulder Dash XL 3D hosts a decent variety of levels and modes to test your skills with Arcade offering 100 caves to explore, each one being on a tight time limit that requires you to find the right number of diamonds to unlock the exit, dodging rocks and other nasties along the way. Once complete, each level in Arcade is then available to play in Zen mode and with no time limit, it allows you to work out safe paths and better ways to get those perfect scores. Puzzle mode challenges you to solve 25 caves, each one getting harder and harder, with one false move leaving you reaching for the reset button. There is no time limit in these Puzzle caves so utilising the pause and explore option will help. Score mode is based across four huge levels, testing every mining skill you would of picked up along the way with only one diamond required to unlock the exit but plenty of opportunities to kill baddies and get high scoring diamond chain collections. Finally there is the Retro mode, 25 levels mimicking the 80's original in visuals and style and taking on its slightly harder challenge setting; here falling diamonds can kill.

At such a reasonable RRP (currently ?16.85 on ShopTo.net) this is a great addition to your 3DS collection, hosting decent 3D graphics and very addictive gameplay. 

Words by Ash Buchanan.

Review Policy (Version tested: 3DS)

Edited On 23 Sep, 2012

( 9 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
Enjoyed the 360 version, was very nostalgic for me. Might pick this up if it goes on sale sometime.
Ash Buchanan's avatar
from what I can tell its the same levels as the Xbox version, just with 3D visuals.
Ash Buchanan 4 years ago
Dead's avatar
I know, would be nice to have portable though, but I'm not paying full price for it.
Dead 4 years ago
Greigyboii's avatar
It isn't really full price anyway, the game is about £17 on ShopTo - about half of a normal title. I understand though, it seems a little steep for what you're getting.
Greigyboii 4 years ago
Gummy's avatar
Gummy 4 years ago
Loved the originals, but just not keen on the look of these newer ones for some reason. Was he always a robot? Couldn't tell before.
Ash Buchanan's avatar
the robots are new for XL version
Ash Buchanan 4 years ago
Laura_1's avatar
Laura_1 4 years ago
I agree, Xbox version was great! Would certainly enjoy playing this with the 3DS capabilities.
Shnoorum's avatar
Shnoorum 4 years ago
Never got aroud to playing the Xbox version but I quite liked the originals
rjc's avatar
rjc 4 years ago
One of my favourite games on the original XBOX, will definitely pick this up.

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