I’m not sure whether I have unrealistic memories of Boulderdash on my C64, but one thing I know for certain is that Boulderdash-XL is a poor game; So poor in-fact that it makes me question how good the original actually was.  Released onto Xbox Live Marketplace yesterday I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this game; the demo contains 5 levels and that was enough to destroy all my interest the in title.  I think this might even rank with the Duke Nukem Forever Demo in terms of destroyed hopes for an upcoming title.

Maybe it’s just a formula that hasn’t aged well?

No, I’m pretty sure it’s not that; from the art style to the sound effects everything about this demo just grated with me.  Surely a game like this would benefit from a more cartoony, hand drawn art style rather than the cheap looking 2D-3D world they’ve built.

You can’t really get the game mechanics wrong — they’re so simple afterall, but it takes something more than this to bring back a much loved title from the dead after close to 20 years.  The game needs to have character, and this title is completely soulless.

I really hope the Choplifter HD remake does a better job of recapturing what made the original so much fun and does more than simply copying the game mechanics into a half-arsed game engine.