Tapstar Games has announced the launch of Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary on iOS devices. The game is the newest installment in the classic franchise, which was first introduced in 1984 on Atari 8-bit computers (and other platforms). This is the first freemium installment in the series, and marks the first time the original Boulder Dash creators have reunited to make a game since 1984. In Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary, players explore caves, collecting gems while avoiding falling boulders and enemies as they search for the exit of each stage.
In each level of Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary, players tap and drag anywhere on the screen to direct one of nine playable characters around each cave with a virtual joystick. Players dig through the earth automatically when touching it, and can freely climb vertically through a cave tunnel to reach new gems and pathways. Levels are littered with obstacles, like boulders that will fall down the screen with the help of gravity.
If players let a boulder hit them, the level is failed and gamers can pay premium currency to keep going, or simply start over from scratch. There are other cases where boulders may fall, not hitting the player, but instead trapping them in a hole. In this case, players need to use a power-up, like dynamite, to escape the trap.
Other powers include a freeze ability, a spyglass that allows players to freely drag the camera to view the entire environment without moving their miner, and temporary points multipliers that can help users earn stars (more on those in a moment).Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary features 220 levels, with 40 levels themed after Halloween in celebration of the upcoming holiday. There are 11 worlds of levels in all, with each level having three stars available to earn. Players earn points when they collect gems, and each level is also timed, so users must collect as much treasure as possible without running out of time, in order to earn all three stars on each and every level. Users are encouraged to replay stages to earn missed stars, which are then used to unlock additional level packs at the main menu.
Each level has a completion requirement that asks users to collect large numbers of gems. Once players collect these gems, the exit door opens and players can manually navigate to the end to clear the stage. Or, they can continue to explore for gems to earn more points.
Players also collect treasure chests as they play (or can earn free chests by watching video ads). These contain collectible tokens, which can be turned in, in bulk, to unlock new characters and worlds. All-told, 160 of the game’s levels are available for free, with the additional 60 stages available for in-app purchase. These premium worlds include re-mastered versions of caves from the original 1984 release.
Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary is now available to download on the iTunes App Store. An Android version will launch later this year.