Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 19/12/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

What a load of BoulderDash

In my ongoing obsession with all things 80s, it was surely only a matter of time before I became fully obsessed with the video games of the period. Longtime readers may recall my writing a while back about my obsession with the Windows 95 port of Pole Position. At the moment, though, the title with which I am completely obsessed is BoulderDash, that well-known 8-bit classic where you run around a cave trying to pick up diamonds and avoid large rocks falling on your head while luring flashing square things to their doom.

While a PC version of this game is apparently available, I've been playing the Amstrad version I remember, using a handy Amstrad emulator for my PC. Everything about it is so accurate, it's scary. If it was on a green screen, it would be perfect.

Mind you, I can't help being struck by the fact that in order to emulate a machine with 128K of memory and a Z80 processor, I need a Pentium with 8M of memory. So much for progress.

The dangerously addictive thing about BoulderDash is the way you keep thinking you've finally worked out how to escape from a cave, only to discover that you are totally, totally wrong. The other cool thing is the sound effects, which are surprisingly realistic for a machine designed more than ten years ago.

Obviously, I'm not the only person obsessed with BoulderDash, because there are a stack of Web pages about it too. Most impressive are the efforts of a Norwegian called Peter Broadribb whose pages include all the detail you'll need to write your own version of BoulderDash. Unfortunately, I doubt my skills in BASIC and LOGO programming are going to help me much here.

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