Boulder Dash

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Boulder Dash
Founded 1984-0?-??
Last Release 2015-??-??

Boulder Dash is a classic arcade action puzzle game and genre.

Generally, you walk around in a grid and must collect a given number of some item. Boulders lie around, roll off some edges and fall until supported by so-called earth or dirt, which you remove by walking in. Often, you play against time and can push boulders onto strolling enemies so they explode, leaving up to 9 holes or items. It appeals to greed, destructiveness, and neuroticism like removing all dirt and pushing boulders together.

The genre was born in 1982 or 1983 when Chris Gray (then around 14 years old) tried to sell an Atari 8-bit game of his, based on The Pit (ARC). He met Peter Liepa, who redesigned it over 6 months and named it after a pun of "balderdash". On October 28, 1983, they sold all rights to First Star Software, who named the protagonist "Rockford" and published Boulder Dash (A8) in early 1984.

Next, in June, Computer Gaming World reported that MicroLab paid $1.3 million in advance to produce and distribute Boulder Dash (C64), Boulder Dash (CV) and Boulder Dash (A2). As sequels, First Star had Liepa program Boulder Dash (PCB), design Boulder Dash II (A8), debug Boulder Dash Construction Kit, create caves for Rockford and, upon Gray's suggestion, the 30th anniversary.

The C64 port became best known and immediately spawned countless unofficial puzzles, graphical revamps, elements and game series. Original elements are amoeba that blast enemies upon touch and turn into items when closed in, enchanted walls that turn boulders into collectables and vice versa, slime that slowly pass items, and horizontally growing walls. FlaschBier (C64) possibly introduced enemies that turn just in front of an obstacle. Emerald Mine probably introduced red explosive boulders. Also famous are Repton and Supaplex. Only Boulder Dash III (C64) became official after it was sent (already finished) from Sweden to First Star.


Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash II


Notable Songs

Notable Audio Personnel

Notable Companies


Boulder Dash
Boulder Dash Platform - A8.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - ZXS.png • Platform - A2.png • Platform - CV.png • Platform - PCB.png • Platform - CPC.png • Platform - MSX.png • Platform - BBC.png • Platform - ELEC.png • Platform - NES.png
Boulder Dash II Platform - C64.png • Platform - ZXS.png • Platform - MSX.png • Platform - A2.png • Platform - A8.png • Platform - PCB.png
Rockford Platform - DOS.png • Platform - C64.png • Platform - A8.png • Platform - AMI.png • Platform - AST.png • Platform - ZXS.png • Platform - CPC.png
Notable Songs Theme
Notable Personnel Peter Liepa
Notable Companies First Star Software