Mr DRILLER Online.

Info

Namcos popular Mr. Driller character comes to Xbox LIVE Arcade in Mr DRILLER Online. Featuring the same addictive single player drilling action from the classic arcade game, Mr DRILLER Online now includes online play. Drill down through the colored blocks to meet your goal, but make sure you have enough air!

Players 1-8
Released: April 2008

Review

If you haven’t played Mr DRILLER before (where have you been?) then the concept is simple.

Expanding on the basic principal of Namco’s retro title Dig Dug, the player must dig their way forever downwards through the different coloured blocks. By strategic digging these different coloured squares can be matched together. While this awards the players points it also causes the blocks to disappear and this means the player has to be wary of potential cave-ins from unsupported blocks which can crush them.

They also have to watch that they don’t take too long about it either, as the air starts to get very thin underground. If the player isn’t quick enough to grab the air capsules left in the blocks then they’ll find themselves loosing a life.

To those who’ve never played a Mr DRILLER title before, the game offers them a good opportunity to discover the series with its simple but addictive gameplay, bright colours and cute characters. Unfortunately Namco have been exceptionally lazy when putting this version together and don’t appear to have been too bothered about updating the sprites. So despite the games Hi-def menu’s and surround for the levels, the main portion where all the action takes place looks fuzzy in comparison.

While the basics haven’t changed from the previous games, Mr DRILLER Online’s main attraction for the fans is given away in the title. The game features and online element which allows up to eight players to face off against one another or play in teams to eliminate the others. Sadly the online is troubled by appalling lag which hampers the experience and it’s so bad as to put off everyone except the die hard fans.

While the puzzle action gameplay is still as good as it ever was, this version of Mr DRILLER is just sloppy and one of those rare games that falls in to the category of try before you buy regardless of whether you’re a long time fan or first timer.