Boulders Never Die


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KeroSo there you are minding your own business (as red balls usually do) when BAM BAM BAM! Boulders start falling out of the sky! Lucky for you, you just happen to have an assortment of blocks that will make a nice rubbery fortress to keep those bullies at bay.

bouldersneverdie.jpgBoulders Never Die, from Brian Campbell, is a fantastic physics-based action puzzle game. The premise is quite simple: boulders never die, and you do. If the red ball touches a boulder or any of your own blocks the level is over. Points are earned each second you are alive, and to win you simply have to achieve the point goal for that stage. Each level puts you in a unique location, from pyramids to igloos, in which you must use the environment and your handy-dandy blocks to construct some sort of shelter for your little red ball. With only two types of blocks at your disposal (initially) you must quickly figure out a basic defense strategy. After you finish a level you can go back and play it again to try and earn a high score, or try it in free play mode where you will have 20 blocks to work with instead of the usual ten you are given.

As we all know there are exceptions to every rule, and this remains true in Boulder Never Die. You will lose a level if the ball touches one of your blocks, but if it just taps a block and moves away quickly enough you might just get away with it. This tactic is very useful in several stages. Playing the tutorial will give you a good head-start on what to expect from the rest of the game as well as a chance to practice the tap method of moving the ball. While this isn't the only trick you'll have up your sleeve, it's certainly one of the most useful.

Analysis: All things considered, Boulders Never Die is a great game, but it does have a few minor drawbacks worth mentioning. With only six main levels and two unlockables it's a pretty short experience, and once you get a good strategy going it will only take a few tries to beat each stage. There is somewhat of a luck factor here as well. You may have a great structure built, but if a boulder hits a corner in just the wrong way it could cause the whole thing to tumble. Or maybe you have a not-so-great structure but the first boulder to land happens to sit nicely on the top of it providing that extra weight to keep the rest of your fortress in check.

None of these factors should prevent you from playing this game, however. If you've got a couple hours free, or if you're looking for a game that you can play on your coffee break, you should definitely try Boulders Never Die.

WindowsWindows:
Download the full version (free, 7MB)

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

9 Comments

I can't actually download the game from that site. The small download link in the lower-right leads to a page that claims to have a link to the download, but when I click on it I just go back to the original page. I'd rather not install the plugin, so I googled it and found the original post on gamemakergames.com, with plenty of working mirrors.

Fun concept, and it worked OK for me, but it got frustrating rather quickly. Faster load times would have helped. I'm pretty impatient though...

Sadly, it doesn't work on my old computer. It shows the Soup games icon, I press space or enter and then it goes black and I have to restart to get out of it.

it's a neat concept, but the learning curve is pretty much through the roof. definitely takes a little bit to a lot of patience in the beginning to succeed and move on to the next level(s). free play might interest some more than regular play because you get twice as many blocks to work with, though more often than not 10 is more than enough to get the job done.

i think the ability to move the ball during play, say, with the arrow keys, would make for a more varied and skill-based game, and consequently it would become more enjoyable. regardless, the music is fantastic, and the presentation deserves a strong A, so it will definitely be one that i revisit in the future.

Hey, this is a shiny and fun game. I like it.

Is it just me, or is the music for level 5 absolutely identical to the ocarina version of Lloyd's theme from Tales of Symphonia?

I don't agree with you on the ball moving point CanjunCook, I feel that would take away from the main concept of the game which is the puzzle concept. Besides, you can move the ball in a sense like it said in the tutorial all you have to do is tap it with a block, and doing so is extremely useful. I do wish you could have a bit of leniency on how much the ball could touch the blocks though, or maybe the ability to shift the blocks.

great concept! if there was more, I was playing..

after I finished the main levels and started playing the bonus, the 'round' kept going infinitely, and when you reach around 4000 points you enter in the 'rage mode', where iron balls starts to fall making a real damage.. this happens to all levels. I'm not sure if you have to finish the game or this happens to every level you complete. that was fun :)

im stuck on the level with the two bridges.

I normally love physics-based puzzle games, but this one got extremely frustrating rather quickly. A one-pixel difference between tapping the ball to move it and hitting it to cause a restart? Not very player-friendly.

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