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Boulder Dash XL Review

Boulder Dash XL Review
Game Name: Boulder Dash XL
Platforms: Xbox 360 Arcade
Publisher(s): Kalypso Media
Developer(s): First Star Software, Inc.
Genre(s): Puzzle
Release Date: July 13, 2011
ESRB Rating: E

Kalypso Media Group has released the anticipated Boulder Dash right now on Xbox Live market place for 800 MSP. The game is a classic for fans of the original and brings a new generation of fans to enjoy the classic remake of Boulder Dash, but it’s not just a remake as you may think.



The game features 5 different game modes and pays tribute to all Boulder Dash fans with its “Retro Mode”, which carefully replicates the look and feel of the original Boulder Dash, released on Home Computers in 1984. Retro Modes utilizes only the gameplay elements featured in the original and the behavior of enemies inhabiting the caves is exactly as it was back then. Also, level designs follow the same patterns and rules of the classic Boulder Dash to make fans feel right at home. The original graphics and characters have been brought to life in real-time 3D, resulting in a unique look. Music and sound effects have been created using 8bit-Samples to underline the heritage of this Retro Gaming Classic.



Features of Boulder Dash-XL include:

  • An updated HD look and feel, featuring 720p graphics
  • 4 new game modes (“Arcade”, plus all new “Puzzle”, “Zen” and “Time Challenge”)
  • A Retro Mode offering 25 “retro” Caves for a total of five game modes in all
  • New scoring mechanism adding new excitement and challenges for High Score hunters
  • Four beautiful and varied game worlds
  • Over 150 all-new Caves to explore while battling monsters and grabbing gems
  • Online Ranking Lists/Leaderboards
  • Achievements

Features of Retro Mode:

  • 25 Caves, following the design guidelines of the original game
  • Caves created solely using the game elements featured in the classic
  • All the classic enemies are there, behaving exactly how they did in 1984
  • Glorious 8bit-Soundtrack
  • Original graphics and characters rendered in real-time 3D

Boulder Dash’s tricky puzzle and dexterity-based gameplay made its debut in the early 80s and continues to entertain its enormous fan base and new players. The game is recognized as one of the best-loved retro games in the history of computer and video gaming. Now Boulder Dash®-XL™ brings this classic back with a hot new look.  The game’s core remains unchanged: in a race against time players must collect sparkling diamonds while besting hordes of enemies, avoiding numerous traps, and keeping an eye out for falling boulders!



Arcade mode has 100 levels to go crazy with and get through. Now if you are like us, you want the best score and time on each level, the idea of the game is to collect jewels and not get hit by monsters or falling boulders. You can choose between 2 characters. You dig through the dirt to get the jewels, once you have collected enough jewels the exit to the level opens, but that is just the start of it!


As you go through the levels you start to see that once you start digging you notice that things start moving around and boulders start falling, you do not want to be under one of those or game over and restart time. Now remember you need to collect enough jewels to unlock the exit, but you do have a time limit so you need to be somewhat in “rush” mode to do it. Some levels may take a few try’s, but this is also a good thing because it can help you improve your time and score on that level. So don’t worry you have 100 levels to “dig” through and rack up that score and grab the fastest times!



“Retro” mode is the classic 1984 game made to look almost just like the original, but a bit more tolerable graphics. Now the “retro” mode is the same idea of arcade more with the same concept. In our opinion we think that “retro” mode is harder than the new arcade mode. Boulder Dash also has Zen mode, this is where you can reply levels from arcade mode without the time limit so you can go through the level and perfect your skills without rushing yourself. Puzzle mode is different levels were you need to solve the puzzle of getting the jewel and making it to the exit without trapping or killing yourself in the process of getting the fastest time when completing that puzzle level.



Boulder Dash is a great thinking game and gets you hooked from the first level. It’s a great remake and revamped to add new features and modes to the game, Kalypso Media Group is also know for games as Tropico 3 (and Tropico set to release in August) and The First Templar (if you have yet to get those out we suggest you do right now!)


Game 2 Gamer’s Final Score 3 / 5

Frustration Level   


  1. Jason says:

    Good review chaps, I love the original boulderdash so this is right up my street this is.
    Some good games have been hitting the xbla recently, hope it continues!!!

  2. CherryRasulka says:

    Wow, somewhat the same but it seems completely different, I remember playing this on Coleco Vision and the Atari 800. It’d be fun to have just to maybe relive old times but with the games that come out now a days, it doesn’t really seem worth it. Shoot, this game was made the year I was born!!!! lol

  3. Daniel Nguyen says:

    Bright and colorful remake. The art style is unique and vibrant.

  4. Mr. Chris says:

    Wow…I remember having this game on my Apple IIe computer! LOL!!! The updated graphics look pretty cool!!! Thanks for writing a review so quickly!!!

    Twitter: @PriusGuy2004

  5. eugaet says:

    I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really interested until I saw the screenshots for Retro mode. I used to play Boulder Dash on the C64. So nostalgia may be enough to get me to at least try the demo. Hope it doesn’t kill my fond childhood memories, Kalypso!

  6. Good to see some remakes!!

  7. Game 2 Gamer says:


  8. ilRadd says:

    Retro mode looks cool!