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Mr. Driller (DC)

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7 Reviews

A puzzle game developed and published by Namco Limited. In Mr. Driller the objective is to dig to the bottom of each level as quickly as possible while you collect enough air to stay alive and create a path that keeps blocks from squishing Susumu (main ch

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    7 Reviews
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      17.07.2013 17:00
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      Fun, addict and simple yet will provide many hours of challenging gameplay.

      Mr. Driller for the Dreamcast is a great example of how video games that are fun to play don't necessarily require don't require complex game mechanics, cut edge state of the art visuals in high definition or deep involved interwoven plots. Mr. Driller is at it's core very simple game puzzle, a game, like Tetris that is simply enough to be picked up and played by anyone yet it can provide a level of ongoing challenge that can take years to fully master. Accompanying the simple and straightforward playability Mr Driller also consists of simple, neat but colourful 2D graphics which were somewhat basic and purely functional even at the time of the games release. Accompanying the action are some overtly Japanese sounding audio effects and a wacky yet superbly well composed soundtrack.

      So to come to the question of who this Mr Driller character is and what you're meant to do you are covered in the introduction title screen. Mr Drillers home city of "Downtown" has become invested with blocks that have been popping up all over the city and causing much destruction in their wake. But fortunately all is not lost as Mr Driller, has come to save the day and rid the city of the block menace once and for all. Mr Drillers heroic task therefore is to drill down through the blocks with aim to get to heart of what is causing this block menace and put a stop to it once and for all. Puzzle games don't particularly need complex or sophisticated stories but this serves to set up the puzzle action of the game.
      It is the central "drilling" gameplay itself which is the games strongest and most addictive element, it has that "just one more go" feel much like Tetris that potentially can keep you hooked to the screen for hours. The premise is simple enough, you drill downwards through variously different coloured blocks while trying to avoid dislodging the blocks above your head that threaten to fall down and crush you flat. The twist however is when multiple blocks of the same matching colour come into contact with each other they disappear and anything that was above or supported by these blocks will come crashing down. What you will therefore require is a combination of strategy to drill the blocks in the right order to ensure safety and quick reflexes and speed as you seek to dodge and seek cover from block falls as they occur. In addition to this Mr Driller has a limited air supply which is constantly running out so you have to time to stop and carefully plan you must drill away as fast as you possibly can in order to attain the designated depth, which depending on the games setting will be 2500 or 5000 feet in depth. Along the way air capsules can be collected to replenish you air supply, drilling through "X-blocks" however will diminish your air supply. You must therefore carefully (but quickly) choose your route taking account of your oxygen levels and the position of air capsules on your route downwards through the depths. This can make all the difference between success and failure.

      In total there are three different modes of play on offer, these are Arcade the standard game where you have three lives to accomplish your goal, Time Attack which is against the clock, you can find little clocks that add a few seconds to your time typically time limits range from 15 to 20 seconds, and survival mode where you are given only one life and you must survive for as long as you can and beat your own or other players high scores.
      Unfortunately what this game lacks is a multiplayer co-operative or competitive mode which potentially could have opened up a new game play dynamic as you would either try to either work together to survive or bring down blocks on the others players head or you both make a scramble for the air capsules. Potentially with the Dreamcast you could have 4 players on the screen at once so this seems like a wasted opportunity.

      Overall the difficulty level of the game is balanced perfectly with a progressive learning curve as the stages become increasingly more challenging as you progress deeper and your air supply begins decline more rapidly. However while the challenge is there it is never difficult to the extent of making you reach for the power button in frustration, you always feel you can drill a little deeper and reach your goal if you give it just one more go, a sign of a good puzzle game is when you find yourself coming back more determined than before. Mr Driller is a game is simple enough to be played in short spurts but challenging enough to you glued for hours. If you're a big puzzle game fan or you're just looking for something unique and simple to play on your Dreamcast then Mr Driller will be your cup of tea and is worthy addition to any game library.

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      16.02.2009 15:05
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      Well worth a bidget purchase

      Mr Driller is from the same school of thought as Chu Chu Rocket. The plot doesn't really make much sense, the concept it strange and the graphics could have just been ported from the Megadrive.

      However, the bottom line is that nobody cares about any of these things because Mr Driller is pure awesomeness.

      Without going into the strange plot about blocks taking over town, you quite simply have to drill down the screen as far as you can before you get squished or run out of air. Air pockets and brown blocks require a bit of planning, but in essence its a time attack style, arcade game.

      Games such as Mr Driller seem to be a lost art in these modern times. Modern gamers love their five hundred hour grinding epics where just the tutorial level takes a week to finish and thats without taking time to marvel at its gazillion pixel, billion frame per second cutscenes or whatever.

      Mr Driller is simply an arcade game. You can quite happily play it for a few hours due to its addictive nature or have a quick five minute burst before heading off to the pub. (although you will inevitably be late as you just have to have one more go). There are a few different modes to try out and enjoy, but sadly, no two player mode which is a big loss. As a result, it is not something you may invest a huge amount of time into playing non-stop, but it will offer an excellent diversion when you need a break from roaming huge interactive cities.

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      02.07.2002 02:25
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      Before anyone accuses me of plagiarism, this review can also be found at http://includes.reserve.co.uk/reviews/review.php?index=999107736&custid=TRUE where it is also my own work. Thankyou. The town is being overrun by coloured blocks!Everyone is in a panic! Quick, call Mr Driller! The blocks are coming from deep underground - drill as fast as you can! Hmm... That kind of opening sequence would normally be enough to put anybody off playing a game, especially with those oh-so-bright-and-happy animations. But luckily, Mr Driller is one of those game that doesn't need an amazing storyline (or indeed, opening sequence) to work. Using the same concept as Namco's old Dig Dug, you have to drill downwards through blocks as fast as you can and for as long as you can. To make this more difficult, you must avoid falling blocks, collect air capsules to provide Mr Driller with an air supply and you must not drill through the brown boxes - unless you want to lose 20% of your air supply of course. A very simple yet very addictive formula. The game has 3 modes of play - Arcade, Survival and Time Attack. Arcade mode is split into two sub-categories, which are the 500m and 1000m challenges. In each, you must drill down for the specified distance and reach your goal before you run out of lives. In Survial Mode, you must drill as far as possible through an endless onslaught of blocks without running out of air, or getting yourself crushed. Finally, Time Attack is made up of a series of 100m courses that must be completed within a certain time limit before you can unlock the next set. The main problem with this game is a lack of modes. As addictive as the game may be, you can't help feeling that the game needs a little more variety. For example, a multiplayer head-to-head type mode would have been good. The only other thing wrong is that when you eventually become pretty good at the game and the challenges seem easy, it can quick
      ly get boring. But that'll take a while. Overall, Mr Driller is an addictive game that is easy to pick up and difficult to master. Graphics - 6/10 (like good graphics are needed in this game...) Sound - 5/10 (like it matters...) Lastability - 9/10 (takes a long time to get bored) Gameplay - 7/10 (needs more modes - multiplayer anyone?)

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      22.09.2001 01:13

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      This game is very simple, but extremely addictive. the mole people are making their munchies, but they're making too much! the town is overrun, and mr driller is called in to save the day. just drill your way through 1000 feet of multicoloured sherbet blocks (or 500 feet for the kids out there), but keep an eye on your oxygen levels as it drops pretty quickly. it starts easy, but as with the best puzzlers, gets HARD! it usually deteriorates into a frantic race down the screen, dashing all over to grab some air, with much swearing when you get flattened by some blocks that were balanced precariously above you. the sound deserves a special mention - the music is superb, ranging from crazy techno to swirly harpsichords... get it - you will play it always! (but try to get it cheap - its available for less than £20 at places online..)

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      25.05.2001 05:10
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      With the needs of today's gamers this game wasn't meant to be a huge success. This game is so simple three buttons do exactly the same thing. Now some may think this a bad thing, but the simplicity and ease makes up for the lack of modern styled levels and graphics. The aim of the game is to steer Mr.Driller down through 100 metres deep stages of coloured blocks, stacked either singly or linked in groups. If blocks of the same colour touch, they form larger groups of blocks. These groups are not ruled by the laws of gravity, so over hangs and ledges are created. Drilling one of these big lumps gains more points than a single block or smaller group. But beware - anything that was on top of it falls down towards Mr.Drillers head. Cutting a path down through the blocks without getting crushed can be tricky. But that's the challenge. Our plucky hero must also maintain a supply of air so he doesn't suffocate. The game begins with his reservoir filled to 99 percent capacity, and gradually depletes as you play, the deeper you go the faster it is used up. To replenish Mr driller's tanks you must seek out air capsules, which are tucked between blocks on the way down. Each one will add 20% to the air supply, giving you plenty of time to clear a safe path in the early stages. By the last stage you'll be pumping the drill button like an amphetamine fuelled lab monkey in control of a banana dispenser, just to get to the end in time with out dyeing. Just to complicate things, nestled among the coloured blocks are tougher, brown bricks, which more often than not surround the air capsules. Cutting into one of these babies empties 20% from Mr Driller's air supply, equalling the amounts stored in the air capsules. Instead you must clear the normal blocks from around the brown bricks in such a way so as to open a path to the air supply. The standard arcade mode comes in normal and expert flavours, which equate to 500m and 1000m drill
      depths per level. However Namco's designers have also put a fair amount of variety into the different stages. In addition to the arcade option there is a survival mode, in which you must drill as deep underground as possible with only one life. Alternatively you can opt to take on the time attack game, which specially constructed stages to tackle. On the way through these you must collect clock icons to subtract between one and three seconds from your overall time. And while the target times in video games are often quite easy to beat the ones in Mr Driller are often stunningly hard to match. Special mention has to be made of the music, which outside of a video game would have you chewing through your hi-fi's power cable, but in the context of a crazy Japanese puzzle game is the perfect accompaniment. The bad thing about Mr Driller is that there is no multiplayer mode. It deprives the game of the ability to keep a couple of friends glued to there joy pads, in the way that "Bust-A-Move" can. This game is easily the most addictive game you will ever play on the Dreamcast.

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        01.05.2001 20:44

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        this game is very simple, but extremely addictive. the mole people are making their munchies, but they're making too much! the town is overrun, and mr driller is called in to save the day. just drill your way through 1000 feet of multicoloured sherbet blocks (or 500 feet for the kids out there), but keep an eye on your oxygen levels as it drops pretty quickly. it starts easy, but as with the best puzzlers, gets HARD! it usually deteriorates into a frantic race down the screen, dashing all over to grab some air, with much swearing when you get flattened by some blocks that were balanced precariously above you. the sound deserves a special mention - the music is superb, ranging from crazy techno to swirly harpsichords... get it - you will play it always! (but try to get it cheap - its available for less than £20 at places online..)

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        20.01.2001 01:18
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        I must admit, I wasn't expecting much of this cheap and cheerful little puzzler - the graphics are cute'n'colourful but not exactly up to DC standards, the gameplay is simplistic, and there's no 2 player mode - but my calloused thumbs bear testament to how addictive it is. After the first few games, the challenge to dig deeper sets in... The care and attention lavished on this game is lovely - the tunes are j-pop classics and the characters are soooo cute, but these become insignificant to the call of "one more go"... This is one of the best puzzle games I've ever played - up there with Boulderdash (ooh, showing my age), Super Bomberman and the Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move series. It shares a little secret with those classics - it is so easy to pick up and play. If you can get your head round 2 rules - blocks flatten you, and you need air to breathe - you can play the game! Not everything in the garden is rosy, though. The lack of multiplayer can lead to scraps over who gets to play next, and it really only works as a "quick fix" game - there are no hidden depths, just sheer arcade frolics. With so many amazing DC games out there at the moment, I don't think this should be the first purchase for a new Christmas DC. But for those of us who miss the old days of simplistic, fun gameplay, or have worn out Bust-a-Move, or need to escape from Shenmue, check out Mr. Driller.

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