Perspective: Side view
Visual: Fixed / flip-screen
Published by: Windmill Software Inc.
Developed by: Windmill Software Inc.
Absolute arcade classic, in fact, does not need much description. In this game, you have to control an earthmoving machine that digs the ground (which is logical), collects gems found in the ground and destroys or avoids enemies.
The main goal at each level is to collect all the emeralds available on it, because only then it will be possible to go to the next level, which, of course, is already more difficult (although it is also desirable to kill all the enemies). There are two types of enemies - Nobbins and Hobbins, evil underground creatures, with the latter moving much faster than the former (usually only four monsters per level, but believe me, this is more than enough). Usually Hobbins are obtained over time from Nobbins, but after some time they return to their original state. Enemies can pursue our machine only through tunnels dug by it in the ground - they themselves do not know how to dig them.
There are two ways to destroy enemies. The first is to shoot at them (using the F1 button), but we must remember that the machine can make only one shot at a particular moment in time (reloading takes about thirty seconds), and only in the direction where it is now turned "in front". The second way is to tear the ground around the encountered bags of gold so that they fall down and crush the enemies (the right moment for them to be right under the bag is quite difficult to predict, in addition, the bags can kill you if you dig the ground under them carelessly , being below them). In addition, in the game you can collect rare cherry bonuses (their appearance depends on the number of monsters that you have already killed on this level), thanks to which our machine can temporarily become invisible to enemies.
After receiving twenty thousand points in each level, you are given an extra life. It is impossible not to note how really increasing the complexity of the game as you progress through the levels (monsters of both types move faster, Hobbins last longer than at lower levels, reloading a shot takes longer, bonuses, on the contrary, last less time, and so on), and simply the highest AI of the monsters at that time, who strive to surround the player, acting in fact as a team.
The graphics (at least for 1983) are positively wonderful, colorful, bright, indescribably pleasing to the eye with the beauty of the drawing. Not to play this game at least once in your life means to seriously deprive yourself culturally, no matter how pathetic it may sound. It is pointless to say anything else - it's just a classic.
Differences from the original version:
- the presence of a text intro;
- corrected game speed - in DOSBox at 3000 cycles it works not so fast and even playable, unlike the original, which has to be slowed down;
- to start the game, you no longer need to edit the adapter type to "cga" in the DOSBox settings - it works even with vesa_nolfb;
- playing music after death is now limited to a certain number of ticks (in the original you had to listen to all of it, which was somewhat annoying), so the length of the playback now essentially depends on the speed of the computer.