Never Played: MR. DRILLER
Namco had its fair share of hits over its many years in the video game industry. Among those most notable titles like Pac-Man and Tekken was Dig Dug. The game that was going to become Dig Dug 3 ended up becoming what we now know as Mr. Driller. Unlike Dig Dug, Mr. Driller is a puzzle matching game similar to games like Columns and Bejeweled. Mr. Driller came to PlayStation and Dreamcast in 1999 to decent sales and reviews.
I picked up Mr. Driller a long time ago in a small lot of Dreamcast games but until now hadn’t played it. The art style is very Japanese anime influenced, with cute expressions and bright vibrant colors, much like its ancestor Dig Dug which was interestingly enough the first game review I did on this blog. The music also has a lot of J-Pop flavor to it and I felt it suited the game very well. Mr. Driller‘s play style is one I’ve grown to love in my almost 30 years of gaming. Dr. Mario, Tetris and Lumines are personal favorites of the genre. Mr. Driller has a lot of elements those games have but with an interesting twist: you have to control a character who is actually inside of the giant falling blocks to create chains and clear levels. While drilling your way through the levels you must dodge the falling blocks or else be squished. That simple mechanic is enough to make Mr. Driller feel like a genre all of its own and adds an extra layer of difficulty you don’t really experience with other similar games.
At first I was having trouble with the game because I was trying to go slowly and methodically like I’m used to in games like it. But I soon discovered that in Mr. Driller you must learn to love and embrace the speed. You have to get in the zone and into kind of a flow if you want to have any kind of impressive success in Mr. Driller and I really like that aspect of the game.
If you are a fan of timed matching games or puzzle arcade games then Mr. Driller is definitely a must-play. It provides a unique take on the genre and I’m a proud to own this game.