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Fun Boulder Dash action
For a neat twist on familiar gameplay as seen in the likes of arcade classic Boulder Dash, the Blow Up is thoroughly worthy of investigation. It's a little known title which takes the exploration formula of the aforementioned hit franchise but adds in a few new elements to create a highly enjoyable slice of arcade fun. The basic idea requires players to navigate a series of caverns while looking for the exit and avoiding the various hazards which lurk within. There is of course a time limit to add to the challenge while there are also differing enemy types to keep you on your toes. These include the likes of grabbers who slow down your character by leaping on him, disembodied heads which are faster and which shoot at you and moving grenades which explode when you get too close. There is also a highly unpleasant virus which can be released and which causes the player to move more slowly and to lose health. You're not completely helpless though and can crush enemies with rocks, shoot them or make strategic use of mines in your desperate fight. As a variation on a classic formula, Blow Up is certainly enjoyable stuff. It's not wholly original but it gets by on the sheer fact of being well done, with nice chunky old-school visuals, plenty of fast moving action and some nicely designed levels which keep you challenged and entertained at the same time. It might lack the sheer inventiveness of the best Boulder Dash clones but you could certainly do a lot worse than spend some time with this little piece of retro fun.