A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

This is a tribute to two of my favorite games of my childhood called Boulder Dash (C-64) and Metroid (NES).

In the middle 1980's I was a kid of seven or eight years. My uncle had got a brand new commodore 64 computer and my younger brother and I used to play all the exciting games of that times. For me at this time, the world was full of monsters dungeons and dragons hiding in the shadows. It was a fantastic time and I remember myself fighting through all this particularly hard games lost in the 8-Bit worlds that turned into real adventures.

Micro Dash is Boulder Dash like game but with a lot of new elements and metroidvania features like tiny story-line, power-ups and a lot of secrets and hidden caves. The graphics and sound is close to the one from the original C-64 Boulder Dash from 1986. Also the game-play is similar to the original. The player controls Nano, who must dig through caves collecting gems and diamonds and reach the exit, while avoiding various types of dangerous creatures as well as falling rocks or get killed by an underground explosion.


Features:

  • Up to four game save slots. Players can use different game slots to play together by player-rotation
  • Six worlds with about 10 to 20 caves per world to eke out plus bonus world
  • Up to six power-ups. Each power-up gives you a unique ability
  • Secrets and hidden rooms that are waiting to be found
  • A lot of new elements like Emeralds, Ghosts and Spiders, Keys, Doors and Portals, Laval, Slime and more
  • Up to six different color themes and six different extra cave themes
  •  Multiple goals such like: 
    • Solve all caves 
    • find all power-ups 
    • find THE lost diamond 
    • find all secrets and opals and unlock the bonus world 
    • make a high score 


Info:

Story-Design....................Andrevv
Programming.....................Andrevv
Graphics........................Andrevv
Color Palette...............Dawnbringer
Music...........Micaela * Garami@fiverr
Testing...........Max:Katja:Andreas:Tim
..............Zwingli:Karl:Tommi:Chrigu
Original.........Peter Liepa:Chris Gray
....................First Star Software

Keyboard Control:

Up.......................W and Arrow UP
Right.................D and Arrow Right
Down...................S and Arrow Down
Left...................A and Arrow Left
Set Bomb......................Right ALT
Select or Grab....................Space
Back or Pause....................Escape

Game-Pad Control (Tested with a 8BitDo SN30 Pro+):

Up...................................Up
Right.............................Right
Down...............................Down
Left...............................Left
Set Bomb..............................A
Select or Grab........................B
Back or Pause....................Select

If something is not running properly on your system, please post it in the comments/forum or send an e-mail.


Have a lot of fun!


Installation:

Unzip the downloaded file wherever you want. Start the file microdash or microdash_demo by double-click.


For windows you can add the including icon.ico file as an app-icon and if you want to run the game from Desktop or anywhere else, create a shortcut by right-click on the exe file and choose Create Shortcut. Drag the shortcut file wherever you want to start the game


For Linux you will find a prepared script named desktopSetup that will create  a microdash.desktop file for you. Just run the desktopSetup script and place the generated microdash.desktop file wherever you want. Double-click for startup.

Purchase

Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:

microdash_1_0_linux.zip 34 MB
microdash_1_2_mac.zip 41 MB
microdash_1_3_win.zip 45 MB

Development log

Comments

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This is an amazing achievement. It is like Tarantino's approach to the cinema... remix the best elements and add your flavor and imagination. Andrevv we salute you! 

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REVIEW:

I've always loved Boulderdash and the many variants that were released in the 80s and 90s, like Rockford and Supaplex. I've even made my own variant at some point. The core game mechanics are surprisingly deep; there are so many different challenges and puzzles that can be created with just these few mechanics.


The maker of Microdash seems to realize these possibilities very well: there are about 100 levels, and as far as I've seen (I finished 26 right now), they all seem to be unique, exploring different interactions.

What is unique and new here is the Metroidvania element: there are permanent ability upgrades, and even some well hidden secrets. Combined with the score-based unlock system, this gives an incentive to revisit old levels.

The game is quite hard and doesn't take you by the hand. I was stumped quite a few times already, and had to think outside of the box or look closely at the info page in the menu. There are also a few levels where you should definitely make a map, and even then you can spend a lot of time exploring.

The style of the game is completely retro: it looks and sounds almost exactly like the original Boulderdash. I would have liked some upgrades (resolution, number of colors, number of animation frames, some VFX?), but I'm happy that this game didn't fall into the same trap as some modern variants, which emphasize modern graphics and animations at the cost of sacrificing gameplay.

I've played quite a few games from the Ukraine bundle, and there are many that are flashier and make a better first impression, but nevertheless: this is the game that I've put the most hours into at this point, and I'm not even close to being finished. Recommended if you like challenges and/or retro gameplay!

Thank you for this great review! Also check out Toma's discussion about playing Micro Dash.

Yay!

Congrats, you made it!

Alright, here's some unsolicited play test feedback. I love the game, but here are some suggestions:   :-)

The "reveal all secrets" upgrade is great, but it can lock you out of completing some levels. For instance, the opals in Melon cannot be grabbed anymore. It should be possible to turn this ability off.

Maybe related to that(?): it's literally impossible to grab the blue key in Zurich. This is quite annoying, since it was really hard to already get to that point.

Why are there lives? The only thing it does is forcing you to go through a few more screens to retry, once you're out of lives, which is slightly annoying. It doesn't seem to add anything to the game.

At the start of the game, the fact that pushing sometimes doesn't work at all feels like an annoying bug. Now I know that this is solved soon enough, but still, it might turn players off of the game. Maybe make the push always work, but with some delay?

Why are there no level names in Wonderland? I miss that. There are some great levels, but without names they're forgettable.

The first level in Wonderland is quite hard, it required quite some planning and practice. On the other hand, I passed the levels after it in one attempt. I'm not sure if this is great, since this one hard level locks you out of the whole world. (The same holds for Melon by the way, which is also quite hard.)

The alt key for placing bombs is weird. I would suggest X or Z.

Cube is too big! Exploring it fully takes hours, even when making a map and almost never making a mistake, because there are so many doors that lead back to the start, and you only know when you go through them. I would suggest keeping the same amount of rooms, but removing some of these useless doors: some rooms should only have two exits.

Maybe this is just me, but I find the sound of many gem drops annoying. They use musical scale tones, but I believe they are chromatic (half tones), not from a scale like a major scale, and the melodies they make certainly don't end at the root note. I would suggest sticking to major scale tones (which should be easy), and if possible, always end on the root note (though I realize this is hard to program). This way, they will generate pleasant melodies.

I still cannot finish Ghost in the Shell... Maybe I'm missing something, but even 150s seems very tight.

Why is New York twice in the list of levels?

There are many great levels, but here are the ones I loved the most, despite taking quite a few attempts:

-Weir

-Atlantis

-Great Hall

-Five (though it is really hard!)

-Beijing

-1010

-Swarm

By the way:  

(1 edit)

Hey, thank you for your critics, I appreciate that.

First of all I have to say, I'm a hobby-game-dev not a professional. So I think this might answer some of your questions already ;-)

I started this for and with my son, just to have fun. Then I got pulled in more and more and the idea of creating a whole game out of it, with upgrades and stuff didn't let go anymore.

The partial lack of a consistent growing difficulty level as well as some conceptual bugs or even wierd sound effects are surely related to the fact that I dont have mutch experience in game development.

I learning a lot here... :-)

.......................................................................................

"The "reveal all secrets" upgrade..."

Yes, if I think about this, it seems to be in fact a conceptional bug. I apparently never tested this caves with the "reveal all secrets" upgrade. 

The possibility to switch the upgrades on/off would realy solve this and would also be a benefit and additional user freedom. Will check this for a next update.

"Why are there lives?"

"At the start of the game, the fact that pushing sometimes doesn't work..."

When a started with creating the game, I wanted to stick closely to the original Boulder Dash from C64 that had lives as well as the unpredictable push success of rocks.

But you are right the lives does not make a lot of sence anymore since the game evolved and with the possibility to restart every cave.

"Why are there no level names in Wonderland?"

"The first level in Wonderland is quite hard..."

Wonderland is weird stuff and I simply got tired to come up with new names for every cave :-)

"The alt key for placing bombs is weird. I would suggest X or Z."

Right. I moslty played the game with the gamepad, but for my next game I will make that customizable.

"Cube is too big!"

Yes this is certainly too mutch.

"I find the sound of many gem drops annoying"

Sound and sound effects are realy not my thing. I got the gem drop sounds from some original SID sounds but played around with them (for the worse I suppose)

"I still cannot finish Ghost in the Shell..."

Hmm honestly, I have to replay this first some day, to be able to gave a propper answer here. 

"Why is New York twice in the list of levels?"

I realy thought I had corrected this before launch. But if it is still there twice, it is a bug.

Hope this answers some of your questions and thanks again for your great feedback!

(+1)

This is absolutely fantastic, ridiculously underpriced and one of my favourite Indie Games I played in the last few years. Just calling it a Boulder Dash clone would not do it justice. For those who dont know what Boulder Dash is: You try to dig around gathering gems while avoiding being crushed by falling objects. Sounds simple, but in reality makes for some very tense mix of puzzle and action gameplay where you plan out your routes and then pull them off in time.

This is the inofficial spiritual successor to the original Boulder Dash gamesin my books and the best game I ever played in its subgenre. The first world alone would be an amazing Boulder Dash game with its varied challenges, very tight and balanced level design that are a joy to puzzle out over several hours. And then the developer added 5 more worlds of that quality. Some of these levels have no clear explanation of how you even finish the level,making it necessary to explore its mechanics carefully, which I absolutely adore. They are also a blast to optimize for finishing and maximizing your score. That score will also be important to unlock further levels down the line, giving you a perfect incentive to perfect every inch of the self-dug labyrinths.

The game also doesnt mess around with modernizing the level of challenge as the levels in the first world are already genuinely hard, but never unfair. They ask you to keep an open mind, be aware of what your surroundings, experiment with the tools at your disposal and is genuinely a perfect continuation of what Boulder Dash started. New mechanics, new items, hidden secrets, TONS of content and replayability for any level. It is a tiny bit unfortunate how relentless the game is in gating its content if you just want to experience the later levels as the game asks you to really get down with the previous levels, which make keep you stuck for a while occasionally. It also doesnt explain its controls well enough (laying Bombs is right alt + direction), but other than that, this is an amazing, amazing game and faithful sequel to one of the most iconic games ever made. I honestly do not believe you could make a better Boulder Dash sequel while staying true to the roots of the series. 4,5/5

(1 edit)

Average Session: A few minutes

*stops playing after 4 hours*
Uh-huh. >_>

Wow, thank you very much for your great review, I very appreciate that! I was always a huge fan of the C64 Boulder Dash and this is my fist and yet only game I've ever made so far. 

Also appreciate your critics and will consider it. It's true, the game is a bit hard, and it would be nice to access some content more easily. But maybe, if the game attracts some bigger community, or I find some time, I will do another sequel of the game. 

Enjoy and cheers!

(3 edits) (+1)

I am drumming up some support for it over on Resetera: https://www.resetera.com/threads/micro-dash-boulder-dash-ultimate-free-gift-copi...
and Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/itchioJusticeBundle/comments/tkvrwe/micro_dash_ukraine_...

Might also make a video for my youtube channel Indietiative, we shall see :)

Also quick note, there is a game breaking crash in the middle of the last level in world 1 (end of the video after entering the green teleporter):
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1434672287

Its apparently reproducible, as I triggered it twice in a row in that stream.

(1 edit)

Yeah, even in a different sequence, that particular teleporter is always broken and immediately crashes to desktop.

Thanks, this should be fixed with the newest windows version. If you use mac or linux version, please tell me, will try to fix it as soon as possible.

I am using windows, but it seems to be still the case on the current windows version that I downloaded a few days ago, unless I misunderstood and you haven't updated it yet :)

Wow, I've just seen your amazing effort on resetera. Thanks for that. Unfortunately, I can't register on resetera because my e-mail is not accepted. But if you like, I will create a Dev-Log for this page to share tips, tricks and maps!? I can also help if there are questions on gameplay.  

You are welcome, its a fantastic little game. If you have anything that you want to write/share to others reading the thread (it had around 2.200 views so far), let me know and I can put a message from the developer in :)

And a dev log would be neat, I think this type of game massively benefits from seeing others engaging with it, seeing some highscores or even finding a few solutions/tips here or there if people are stuck.

Have create a space for tips and tricks: https://inarisoft.itch.io/micro-dash/devlog/364095/tips-and-tricks

Please note, that there is a second info-page. You will get to it by using the Info menu and then use space instead if esc:


(+1)

Thank you so much for creating this game.  I can't remember how many hours I had spent on playing Boulder Dash on my C64 when I was a child.  

I'm very happy to see it being remade (using Java), but still having the retro style of the original game, and that's great!.  I prefer this one to another one with modern look I have on steam. 

Thanks, very nice to hear that. Enjoy!

does it have save game function?

The progress is automatically saved on your selected card. This is every time you win a cave, but there is no manual save within cave play. So you have to win an entire cave to save your progress and unlock more caves to play in.

One of my favorite games from C64. I saw this in the Ukraine bundle. Thanks for your support!

(+1)

Thanks you too for supporting poor people and children of Ukraine! Hope you like the game and give it a rate :)

Thanks for this great game reminding my childhood. Do you have tips how to finish the level "the blob" ? I don't see how to get the 50 diamonds required to finish the level

Glad that you like the game. You don't know the original Boulder Dash game, do you? The Amoeba has to grow until there is no space left to grow further. Under pressure that Amoeba turn into diamonds. So wait until the Amoeba behind the wall has turned into diamonds, then go for it.

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I played boulder dash when I was about the same age as you (7 or 8 years old), I totally forgot about this specificity, I was breaking the wall too quickly, thanks !

Great game, It reminded my childhood. It is nice that the game has been improved with new things too. I would play it more but setting the bombs on my computer is too hard : One time out of three I set the bomb sets behind me, one time I set it correctly but run away too late...

Thanks, glad that you like the game. Yes, bombs are fast and tricky but with a bit of practice it should be viable.