Review: BoulderDash XL – An Atari Classic Comes to iOS

Review: BoulderDash XL – An Atari Classic Comes to iOS

In the incredibly high tech age we live in, it’s amazing how popular “vintage” has become. Not only has our style and attitude begun to reflect a distant era (before smartphones, tablets, and personal computers), this trend has also become overwhelmingly popular on our personal devices, both in app design (skeumorphism) and function (i.e. Instagram). iOS game BoulderDash XL is following suit, bringing classic Atari gaming to the palm of your hand.


BoulderDash XL ($2.99 in the iOS App Store) brings a new-age rendition of the Commodore 64 classic to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Maintaining the tried and true vintage gameplay style you grew to love back in 1984, Boulderdash XL features high resolution graphics and on-screen controls, making it an entirely new (yet surprisingly familiar) Atari experience.

The concept behind BoulderDash XL is fairly straight-forward. You’re tasked with guiding your bot through the maze, digging and pushing rocks as they block your path, and collecting jewels. Once you’ve collected enough jewels, and the exit opens, allowing you to finish the level. Finishing the level earns you a star, but by collecting all the jewels and making it out before time expires, you can earn 3 stars and boost your score.

BoulderDash XL features 4 specialized gameplay modes, outside of the traditional “Arcade Mode.” Zen Mode, Puzzle Mode, Score Attack, and (for the true hipsters) Retro Mode, each featuring similar but unique rules to the standard gameplay style. ¬†While all (except Retro Mode) look the same, the mission and rules of play are adjusted for a different gameplay element.

classic/retro gameplay

GameCenter integration (a feature not included in the 8-bit original) allows players to challenge friends to high scores in all gameplay modes, as well as overall high score. This can add an additional element of excitement, as we all love to get competitive when it comes to video games.

Verdict: [rating: 4.5]

With thousands of games to choose from in the iOS App Store, some of the best have truly stood the test of time. Vintage and retro games, like BoulderDash XL can be an enjoyable trip down memory lane for old school games, and can be an exciting new experience for new gamers alike. If you love a solid, classic arcade game, BoulderDash XL is definitely worth the $2.99.


  • Fun, vintage gameplay
  • Retro game mode looks delightfully 1984
  • GameCenter integration


  • “D-pad” touch-targets feel small

An Atari classic for iOS, BoulderDash XL, $2.99 in the App Store

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