Rockford has been a super-hero for years now. His first Amstrad appearance was covered in the very first issue of Amstrad Action. Now he's back, via a budget re-release. But how does the mid-Eighties hero fare in the bad bad '90?
Those who have never seen any of the Boulderdash variants have missed a treat. The idea is a simple one with the result being sizzling hot gameplay. You take control of Rockford a diamond-hungry creature who wears a characteristic stripey T-shirt and blinks a lot. You guide him around an underground cavern where he digs away through the mud collecting diamonds on the way. But then it's not quite that simple, of course. The underground maze is littered with tons of rocks and populated by hordes of nasties.
Basically the game is all about solving puzzles. A certain number of diamonds need to be collected before a timer runs out, but the layout of the rocks, creatures and diamonds will challenge even the brainiest.
That's not to say the game is a plodding bore. You need lightning fast reactions too. Many of the puzzles involve precise timing to solve them, and you'll need to be pretty nifty on the joystick if you're to stand any chance.
The screens are structured so that at first they seem impossible to do, but once you've worked out how to complete each one, it becomes fairly straightforward. Not so easy that you can relax, though - there's still enough to keep you on your toes. Every four levels there's a bonus screen where you can attempt to claim an extra life.
The screen designer unique to this latest release allows you to create your own custom levels. It's good fun devising complicated problems to test out on friends.
The game allows you to access any level you like - there are sixteen in all. Initially, this seems a good idea - if you get stuck in one cave you can try your luck at another. On the other hand, it may take the challenge out of some of those levels.
A genre that's as old as the hills, but it really is a classic.
Green rocks are just as hard, green diamonds just as valuable.
N. Well, it is an old game...
N. Limited fx.
Grab Factor 88%
N. Looks well dated.
P. Instantly addictive.
Staying Power 87%
N. Access to all levels allows you to see everything.
P. Once you've completed all the screens, design your own!
P. A gem!