Overall Score 75%
Rockstory is a highly polished Boulderdash variant. Placed in a series of scrolling cavern levels, the aim of this game is to retrieve parts of a mythological artifact to unlock the exit at the end of the level. Blocking the way are boulders, some weak blocks of soil that support the boulders and some gigantic jewels that also add to your score. Monsters or other special items also litter the levels.
The graphics and presentation are good. The menu text is large and a scrolling background keeps the front end looking intersing. The main game has multi-layer parallax scrolling and the graphics during the game are all very fine quality complete with sparking jewels and some subtle variations in the boulder designs. You can play the game in a window or select between OpenGL or DirectX, so compatibility is assured.
As opposed to the insectoid in Boulderdash, the main character in Rockstory is a portly builder with bushy white moustache and a yellow hard hat that reminded me of Asterix. The enemies are large and attractive too.
The sound is good, particularly the excellent music. The music is orchestral, quiet, and thoughtful and accompanies each level prefectly. The usual option for muting the audio is present.
Despite all of the very good graphics and presentation, the gameplay in Rockstory is very like that of its genre peers. There are some new ideas here, such as the collection of the artifact components and barrels with goodies inside, but playing the game feels a lot like playing any other Boulderdash clone, and like most of those it is not quite as good as that original C64 game.
There are a lot of levels, fifty big ones divided into worlds, and each level must be completed to unlock the next. You can play any completed level, which is nice. A level editor is not included but the levels that are present should give anyone many hours of playability. There is no tutorial, and no instructions which might cause problems for players not used to this sort of game.
Rockstory is probably the best looking and best presented Boulderdash game I have yet played, but there are lots and lots of games that play like it. The gameplay feels a little tired and, like the inferior Repton 1, the close zoom can make it hard to plan future moves. There is very little wrong with this game that is full of good production values, and fans of the genre should check it out, but those who do not like similar games won't find anything new here.
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