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Andrew Davie

Feel free to add your review and/or impressions here in this thread, or on AtariAge. The latter will get much more of an audience, so I don't really mind if you choose that forum. Please avoid creating new threads if one already exists!

hwen

Mesmerizing. That's the first word that comes to me as I simply look at this. I'll have more to write later. This is the most mesmerizing 2600 game I've seen. I never was that into Boulder Dash back in the day (nor did I dislike it), but I find myself playing this one a lot.

SpiceWare

#2
I posted a short 2 word impression over at AtariAge, without creating a new thread ;) The link will hopefully drive some traffic your way.

Prizrak

BD2 is by far one of the most advanced games for the 2600. Many programers produce some downright amazing homebrews for this old gal. Andrew Davie is a wizard, as it's the only explanation I have for this creation of his. Graphics are stunning, blows the original away and makes it feel modern on this aging hardware. It's not only visually stunning, but the gameplay is spot on and controls are responsible. Levels are highly challenging, but beatable given the opportunity. If your a fan of the original Boulder Dash, you'll love BD2.

guppy

#4
Andrew Davie's Boulderdash for the Atari 2600 is the most visually impressive Atari 2600 game I have ever played, hands down. The amount of colors, the detail in the sprites, the animations, the zoom controls, the wipe animations, the parallax background scrolling, and the "rage quit" screen all blew me away.

This is a title that will surely appear on the Top N list of any Atari fan who plays it. Even if Boulderdash isn't your favorite game on the system, the technical superiority of the game, the sheer amount of programming creativity and features packed into it will surely put it high among anyone's Top 10, Top 5, or even Top 3 games on the system.

There are many highly impressive games to come out on this 45 year old platform in recent years: from originals like Circus Convoy from Audacity Games, to enhanced arcade-faithful ports from Champ Games, and the not-as-yet final Dintar812 8k port of Pac-Man.  If you asked me to pick a favorite, I couldn't do it, but if you asked me which one impressed me the most, I'd have to go with this port of Boulderdash without question.

Andrew Davie

Quote from: guppy on 12 Jun 2024, 02:07 PMAndrew Davie's Boulderdash for the Atari 2600 is the most visually impressive Atari 2600 game I have ever played, hands down. That he has developed it to run on stock hardware without expansion chips on cart is nothing short of amazing. The technical tricks he has pulled off within the limited confines of the hardware are mind boggling. How does he do it?  It's a masterpiece of 6502 Assembly.

I wish!  It's a CDFJ title, which means it benefits from an ARM-chip on the cart. So, this makes it possible. Nonetheless, I am pushing the ARM to the absolute limits to get the results you see.


guppy

Quote from: Andrew Davie on 12 Jun 2024, 02:27 PM
Quote from: guppy on 12 Jun 2024, 02:07 PMAndrew Davie's Boulderdash for the Atari 2600 is the most visually impressive Atari 2600 game I have ever played, hands down. That he has developed it to run on stock hardware without expansion chips on cart is nothing short of amazing. The technical tricks he has pulled off within the limited confines of the hardware are mind boggling. How does he do it?  It's a masterpiece of 6502 Assembly.

I wish!  It's a CDFJ title, which means it benefits from an ARM-chip on the cart. So, this makes it possible. Nonetheless, I am pushing the ARM to the absolute limits to get the results you see.


!! 

I stand corrected; thanks for setting me straight.  I thought I had read somewhere that it was running on unmodified Atari 2600. Since I'm playing it on Stella, I guess Stella somehow emulates the ARM processor, too, then?  How interesting!

Andrew Davie

QuoteI stand corrected; thanks for setting me straight.  I thought I had read somewhere that it was running on unmodified Atari 2600. Since I'm playing it on Stella, I guess Stella somehow emulates the ARM processor, too, then?  How interesting!


You seem to be a little confused.  It ***is*** running on an unmodified Atari 2600. It will run on any Atari 2600 there ever was. The cartridge has a chip on board which does NOT modify the Atari. All the graphics are still generated by the Atari 2600 chip (TIA) as is the sound. The extra hardware on the cartridge just puts data on the "bus" more quickly than would otherwise be possible in a "normal" cartridge. It's certainly much more capable and gives extra RAM too. But the Atari 2600 is most definitely unmodified. Think of it like the Pitfall cart which put extra stuff on the cartridge; it's just an extension of that. Still a '2600 at heart.

Yes, Stella (and Gopher) emulate the ARM chip on the cartridge, and the extra quick bus updates.

SpiceWare

Quote from: guppy on 13 Jun 2024, 12:26 AMI stand corrected; thanks for setting me straight.  I thought I had read somewhere that it was running on unmodified Atari 2600. Since I'm playing it on Stella, I guess Stella somehow emulates the ARM processor, too, then?  How interesting!

You might find my blog post extra hardware! helpful. It covers how Atari cartridges evolved over time to improve the gaming experience. When it talks about DPC+ that also applies to CDFJ as CDFJ is basically an updated version of DPC+.

McCallister

A few thoughts:

-visually stunning. Foreground, background, title screen, at least two different transitions. I mean, a star wipe in a 2600 game? Amazing. And the death animation practically encourages a player to die just to see it.

-levels provide a challenging mix of action and puzzles. Different goals on different rounds kept me engaged and I feel like there's more going on than just the initial challenge of passing the level. On level B you want to pass it as fast as possible, but is it also possible to gather all of the gems (not sure yet.)

-the difficulty levels are almost like entirely new boards. The goal on Cave B might be same between Normal and Hard, but it plays completely different, keeping the replay level high. Most games speed up the clock or make the enemies stronger, but here, layouts have been completely changed or enemies have been added in new places and the player has to plan out a new plan of attack.

This game is fun!

GlennMain

Super detailed and smooth screens with likeable effects witnessed large and small, where the only limitation in the production (granted, demo) is a player's skill. Now I hit this limitation many times, chiefly due, I say, a great reluctance to learn. So the game is never a cheat, never mean in ways some were back in the original's era, excusing Boulder Dash itself.

But I'd had my suspicions then, believing one is born the dashing calibre or not: some people play chess; some play checkers; some folk enjoy hunting truffle with loaded rifles. You know, that kind of thing. I'd encountered Boulder Dash on the C64, yeah, some friend's joint and did not grok. Was very happy in this, a kind of Dunning-Kruger's [effect] quickness of assessment, sat way over there on the left of its chart, until my favourite magazine Zzap! 64 awarded a sizzler for its sequel. They'd already adopted the game's protagonist their cartoony and perfectly marginalised mascot; now it needed be printed across practically every page and every issue thereafter. Eh! I didn't bother with the sequel anyway.

Andrew's Boulder Dash demo (observing all current copyright holders, patents spending, probable updates, etc, etc) is quality goods. And maybe I learnt something here—recent news!—because just survived a full room's discovery and enjoyed the run.

Andrew Davie

Review of a Review.

Retro Bliss Gaming did a review on YouTube.



Very nice/clean screen layout and presentation for this review channel. It was pretty clear that NO MANUALS WERE READ IN MAKING THIS SHOW. Tongue-in-cheek, of course - most people don't read manuals. This was a Boulder Dash virgin, though, so there were lots of deaths.

I enjoyed the reactions to dying. I was frustrated that not all features were shown. I would have liked to have had a bit of a discussion at the end about "what do I think?" sort of thing. But overall, nice to see.

This is the first time anyone has ever mispronounced my name. It never occurred to me that it was possible to do that, but there you go!




Piotr

The game is amazing; seems like this is about the furthest that you can push a stock 2600.  Cave layouts and animations, especially the death sequence, are brilliant.

For issues, my 7800 game drive won't load either release and just shows that they're unsupported.  I'm used to playing Boulder Dash on my 1200xl so it feels like there's a tendency in this version to overtravel.  It was really noticable under Stella but not as bad when running real hardware.

There've been absolutely no problems when using my Harmony Encore on the 7800.  The controls still seem a little loose relative to what I'm used to but you adapt to it quickly.

The difficulty level, graphics, and overall gameplay are nearly perfect - I'm looking forward to buying the cartridge!

Andrew Davie