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Boulder Dash - Atari 2600
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System: Atari 2600
Company: Self-Published
Model #: n/a
Year of Release: n/a
Media Type: Cartridge
Number of Players: 1
Controller: Atari Joystick
   Andrew Davie (Programmer)
Thomas Jentzsch (Programmer)
 North America
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DescriptionSubmit Description
Boulder Dash is a 2600 port of the classic Atari 8-bit game originally published by First Star Software in 1984. In Boulder Dash you take on the role of Rockford, who must collect a set number of diamonds in each level before progressing to the next. To do so, Rockford must dig through caves while avoiding falling boulders, contact with creatures that inhabit the caves, and other dangers. In one form or another, Boulder Dash has been released on a wide variety of platforms, from the Atari 8-bit in 1984 up through the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS in 2007.

Until now, one platform that was assumed would never get a Boulder Dash port is the Atari 2600. Boulder Dash is a fairly complex game relative to those typically found on the 2600 and due to its nature, requires more than the 128 bytes of RAM built into the console to be feasible. Thanks to the advent of more advanced bank switching technologies that augment the 2600's onboard RAM with additional memory, as well as modern homebrew authors pushing the 2600 hardware to its limits, Boulder Dash has been brought to life on the 2600 by Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch.

Andrew and Thomas have done a remarkable job of recreating Boulder Dash on the 2600. The original levels and features from the Atari 8-bit game implementation are all present, and long-time Boulder Dash fans will feel right at home. There's even background music, which the Atari 8-bit version did not have. This is certainly one of the most technically sophisticated games ever written for the 2600.

Neither Andrew or Thomas are strangers to the Atari 2600. In 2001 Andrew Davie released the homebrew game Qb for the 2600, itself based on an original game of the same name Andrew created for Atari 8-bit computers. Thomas Jentzsch released the 2600 homebrew Thrust+ Platinum in 2003, an impressive port of the Commodore 64 classic. Together, these are two of the best selling homebrew games for the Atari 2600.

At this time it's unknown whether or not Boulder Dash will be released in a form that can be enjoyed by classic gaming enthusiasts. It's possible that Andrew and Thomas will be able to work out an arrangement with First Star Software to produce the game in cartridge form, but until then all we can do is look at the screenshots and videos that have been posted and hope that the project will eventually see a public release.

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Related LinksSubmit Links
Andrew Davie's YouTube Channel
First Star Software: Boulder Dash

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