Going underground as Boulder Dash sinks onto DS and PSP

Return of the Rockford Files

Going underground as Boulder Dash sinks onto DS and PSP
| Boulder Dash - Rocks!

Diamonds may be a girl's bestfriend, but for the poor buggers who have to dig them out of the ground, that seems scant reward for the dangers they face. At least that's an obvious deconstructionist take on popular 1980s game Boulder Dash, which is being dusted down and remade for DS and PSP by German publisher 10tacle, following a successful mobile reawaking.

Playing as one such fragile miner, the aforementioned Rockford, your mission is to delve around underground trying to pick up as many bright shiny objects as you can without encountering rockfalls, cave-ins or dangerous beasties such as butterflies and fireflies.

Throwing some complexity into this subterrean puzzle platformer, however, are the multi-characteristic amoeba. These grow, filling up any available space and, depending on their size, either become explosive, turn to rock, or if you can constrict its growth, to diamond.

Other more straightforward tricks will see you digging under rocks to make them fall on pursuing enemies, and opening up the level so you can collect the set number of gems required to find the exit.

Perhaps the biggest underground unknown will be how 10tacle, which hasn't released any handheld games yet, will manage to extend the Boulder Dash concept to meet the expectations of modern games for DS and PSP. Atari's similar game Dig Dug Digging Strike sunk without a trace on DS earlier this year, while all the PSP retro collections from the likes of EA, Capcom and Konami seem to have already saturated the market.

We'll find out soon enough: Boulder Dash is due for release sometime in Summer 2007.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.