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Mr. Driller

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Released: 1999

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Submitted by: Steven Jackson

It is common knowledge that Tetris perfected the puzzle genre of video-games. The precise movement of different shaped blocks to create lines, has been emulated by thousands of different game companies. Yet, with Mr. Driller, your primary purpose is not one of high scores, but instead, one of survival.

Ok, so I’m being a little over dramatic, but as anyone who has ever played Mr. Driller will tell you, it is a challenging and adrenaline filled experience. Mr. Driller’s primary role is to drill into different coloured blocks, deep underground until he reaches the goal. But precision is the key to being successful at Mr. Driller, as not only do you have to avoid the hazards of falling blocks, you also have to make sure you are within reach of air tanks, for if you are not, death is inevitable.

Mr. Driller originally began life as an arcade game by Namco, but was then ported to a number of home consoles. Naturally, because of this, the game does not feature much variety, but the modes which do feature are all fun, keeping to the philosophy of “less is more”.

To conclude, Mr. Driller is a great, cult puzzle game. Coming out of the ashes of Dig Dug, Mr. Driller, does not reinvent the conventions of the puzzle genre, but it instead adheres to what makes puzzle games so fun. It is a simple game, yet a challenging one too, and if you can get that balance right, you are onto something special.

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