Ten years ago, Game Freak created the hugely successful “Pokemon” brand. Their original role playing game, which saw the player travel across a fictional land in search of creatures with names like Pikachu and Snorlax, spawned several sequels, a television show, trading cards and even a breakfast cereal. Though it seemed unlikely, Game Freak finally took a break from its cash-cow series to create an entirely original Game Boy Advance game, “Drill Dozer.”
“Drill Dozer” definitely has something in common with “Pokemon;” both games have a vibrant art style which is initially a deterrent for most game players more than 12 years old, yet also have simple yet addictive gameplay that will likely hook anybody open enough to try it out.
However, that is where the similarities end. “Drill Dozer” is actually a side-scrolling platformer, akin to the “Wario Land” series. Unlike many games in this genre, however, “Drill Dozer” has an entirely intriguing gameplay gimmick that is actually fully utilized throughout the game.
The gimmick is that everything in the game’s world revolves around screws and drills. The main character only embarks on missions while inside a mechanized suit that comes equipped with a giant drill, which is used to do everything from destroying walls to taking the screws out of opponent’s robotic suits, rendering them helpless.
The drilling gameplay is very user-friendly. Besides walking, the only action that players have to worry about is turning the drill left and right. With action so simple, it is amazing how the game manages to be so challenging and rewarding.
Though some levels rely solely on the player’s ability to hop over pits and jump on platforms, the game is best when a puzzling roadblock is thrown in. The puzzles’ solutions require using the character’s limited actions in pretty much every way imaginable.
My only complaint with the game is that the main story is surprisingly short. However, the real fun of the game comes after completing the story. Some of the game’s best levels are available for purchase afterwards, and replaying levels to find secrets ?is just as much fun as playing the game for the first time.
“Drill Dozer” is definitely a fun little game. It will not impact the gaming community in the same manner as “Pokemon,” but it is sure to collect a cult following.
Matthew Loriso can be reached at email@example.com.