30 Years of what now?
Even though I consider myself a connoisseur of gaming, the mobile gaming market is something I never really felt the desire to explore.
That is not to say that I believe all mobile games are bad, as there are some really good ones out there, but I don’t think anyone would be able to contend with the idea that it’s a market saturated with countless shovelware and malicious “free” games designed from the ground up with the intent of separating their players from their credit card information.
So whenever I find myself tasked with the job of reviewing a port of mobile game, I go in expecting very little, and am often left disappointed, despite my low expectations.
Luckily, Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary proves to a fairly good time regardless of its roots.
Played: 2~ Hours
Boulder Dash is a simple puzzle game where the player is tasked with collecting gems to open the gate to the exit.
Quickly grabbing gems in sequence activates a multiplier, and getting a higher score gives the player stars which are required to unlock new levels.
As the title would suggest, the main obstacle to contend with are boulders that can squish the player if they’re not paying attention as they greedily dig around looking for more gems.
Even though in its purest form, that’s really all there is to it, the game does a good job of introducing new mechanics frequently, which serves to stave off the tedium.
There are over 200 levels to play and many characters which can be unlocked by collecting special items or they can just be purchased outright using gold bars which are obtained by simply playing the game.
The characters aren’t anything too special, but they do look different from the generic model and offer some boost in form of stats like increased movement speed or a higher chance to find treasure boxes.
Lastly, there’s the inclusion of the editor, which can be used to create custom stages, but it’s not an aspect of games I enjoy too much so I stuck to playing the pre-made levels for the majority of my time with the game.
My biggest point of contention with Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary would be its price point at $14.99, as it’s a free-to-play game on the mobile market. While it’s nice that there are no ads or microtransactions in this version of the game, $14.99 is a lot to ask for a rather simple puzzler.
As the only notable addition to this version is the controller support and an editor mode, it seems like a lot to ask for, and I would’ve been more comfortable recommending the purchase at $5 or $10, as the kind of games you can get for $15 are steep competition indeed.
Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary is a fun and addictive little puzzle game that makes its transition to the PC market well thanks to keyboard/controller support and removal of ads/microtransactions. It’s just unfortunate that the asking price is a bit steep for the content on offer.
Fun Tidbit – I really like the word “balderdash” and would love to bring it back to common use.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.