Star, £9.95 cass, joystick
O Boulder Dash II arrives with 16 new caves
Few new features, but the same great gameplay
get the disappointment out of the way first. Rockford's
Riot, the follow up to the amazing Boulder Dash,
is not what it could have been.
not that it's worse than Boulder Dash, it's just
that it doesn't really take Boulder Dash's brilliant
originality any further. The graphics and sounds are
the same, the enemies are the same, the game structure
is the same, the objective is the same.
that First Star have done is create 16 new caves, making
Rockford's Riot very much a continuation of Boulder
Dash, rather than a true sequel. This is a real
pity in view of what might have been done. Having said
that, the addictiveness and gameplay in Boulder Dash
was so immense that even a straightforward follow on
has got to leave most competitors stone dead -- and
there's no question that Rockford's Riot will
offer most people WEEKS of enjoyable play.
before, the game puts you in the role of the Zzap margin
megastar Rockford, who's trapped in a cave filled with
dangerous toppling boulders, lethal fireflies, magic
butterflies, enchanted walls, growing amoeba, and .
. . diamonds. The idea is to collect a certain number
of diamonds within a time limit (which varies from cave
to cave and according to the difficulty level), and
then escape through the cave exit to a new cave.
special appeal is that although the game's riddled with
puzzles, there's no single solution to each one. Different
players will develop their own approach, and most caves
needn't be played in the same way each time. What is
more, to get anywhere you must exploit the behaviour
of the various enemies. A firefly will explode if hit
by a boulder, offering you a technique for blasting
your way into otherwise inaccessible caverns. Butterflies,
if lured into contact with the amoeba, will explode
into jewels. Boulders can be used to seal yourself off
from chasing enemies. And so on.
cave covers several screens of playing area, the picture
scrolling smoothly to follow the action. There are 16
different caves, all presenting very different challenges,
and five difficulty levels where the basic cave structures
remain unaltered, but the position of individual items
within them is different, creating new problems on each
before, on the first three levels you can choose to
start at cave A, E, I or M, which allows you to see
a lot of the game before very long, rather than having
to play all the way through from the start. However,
levels 4 and 5 cannot be started part way through. This
is an excellent game structure, offering enough early
encouragement while holding out a long-term challenge.
caves on Rockford's Riot include some superbly
original new layouts. In general they present more complex
tasks, with longer time limits allowed.
top left-hand corner of cave F. Fireflies (which
have photographed as white squares) roam the
walls you must pass by to reach the large
containers of boulders and jewels. You need
at least 30 jewels, worth 5 points each.
example, on the very first cave you have to sneak past
fireflies, then use one of them to blast an entry into
a sealed off chamber, seal it again to keep out the
enemies, clear out the space under an enchanted wall,
set boulders cascading through it to turn them into
diamonds, and then dash to the exit past any surviving
despite the extra complexities, it doesn't seem any
harder overall -- indeed, experienced Boulder Dash
players may be able to plough straight through level
one at virtually the first attempt. The higher levels
are another matter.
very important point worth taking into account in judging
the game is that Beyond, having taken over the rights
from Statesoft, are putting Boulder Dash itself
on the other side of the tape. This is a shrewd move.
far Boulder Dash has sold surprisingly poorly,
probably because buyers have been put off by the relatively
uninspiring screenshots, and Statesoft's somewhat lacklustre
advertising. But now, anyone who hasn't got the original
can go ahead and buy this tape confident of getting
stunning value for money. While people who already have
the original probably won't need too much convincing
to buy themselves another 16 caves!
Meanwhile, we at Zzap, including Rockford, are doing
our best to convince Beyond and First Star to release
a Boulder Dash III complete with a facility to
design your own screens -- the lastability on that would