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Front Runner
1984
Arcade: Maze
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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23
Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

MUTANT diamonds, bone-crunching boulders, and deadly amoeba are just some of the ingredients which make up Boulder Dash.

You play the part of Rockford, an intrepid explorer who has just got lost in a string of underground caverns. Suddenly he notices something glinting in the darkness. Rushing over he picks it up and a boulder crashes down from above. Splat!

The idea is to guide Rockford through each of the caverns, collecting all the diamonds, in a set time limit which will gain him entry to the next cave. It can be tricky as each diamond lurks beneath a precariously balanced boulder - so look out.

In each successive cavern, the time limit is shorter and the tasks harder, diamonds when released will turn into poisonous butterflies, deadly amoeba has to be contained by dislodging boulders to form dams and you have to work out how to get past the fireflies, guardians of the jewels.

Boulder Dash was originally released in the States by First Star for the Atari 800. It was an instant hit and has been converted to the Commodore 64 and the licence bought by an arcade manufacturer.

According to Front Runner, Boulder Dash has been described as "one of the finest examples of Spectrum programming ever". Balderdash! Slow and jerky movement dog Rockford's every step making it difficult to pass through each cave within the time limit specified.

Although there are many features in the game including four interactive puzzles and five difficulty levels to each of the 16 caves your excitement can quickly turn to frustration when time and time again, Rockford is bombarded by boulders.

Clare Edgeley

Memory: 48K
Price: £7.95
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF, Sinclair

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