Boulder Dash Brings the 80s Back to this Millennium

When I was a kid, I played Boulder Dash enough times to get addicted. I never had a video game console and don’t even remember where I played it, but I remember being hooked regardless.

And then I forgot about it.

And then the iPhone came out.

Thanks to the success of the App Store, I am able to relive my childhood again with the famous Boulder Dash ($4.99) that is now 25 years old. And I can tell you — I’m having a great time. Boulder Dash brings the same old game into the palm of your hand. The object of the game is to collect as many gems in the cave as possible and avoid being smashed by boulders as you dig your way through to get the gems. After you’ve accumulated the desired number of boulders, you are featured with an exit to get out of the cave before time runs out.

You’re able to play the game in two modes: retro (just like the 8-bit days of yore) and with modern graphics. After living in a 3D world, it’s REALLY hard to find myself playing the retro version, and the modern graphics, seen below, are just so amazing. I’m totally finding myself immersed in the gameplay.

The default controls (one of three options) correspond to the four circles seen in the screenshot. On the left side, you see the up and down “buttons,” and on the right, the left and right “buttons.” For serious gamers, it’s an acquired taste and skill since you might be used to a physical device, especially as you’re likely looking at the little man rather than your fingers on the touchscreen. After you acquaint yourself with the buttons, though, you’re on your way to dash through the caves! (The alternate controls are a centered button option similar to a joystick and a “swipe” option where you can swipe your finger to the left to move left or down to move down.)

The game sound is pretty fun, but as someone who wants to feel empowered to hear her own music at times, it’d be great if Boulder Dash would accommodate custom music (that is, the ability to choose your own music from the player that is external to the program) without muting it.

Overall, though, it’s a great game and would especially suit the 80s video game lover!

Tamar Weinberg is a blogger and author of The New Community Rules (July 2009), a book on social media marketing and how to leverage existing communities for awareness and profit. She is also a new mom.