Game Review

Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

All driller, no filler

Mr. Driller has become quite a beloved arcade puzzler over the years and after a solid WiiWare release, it seems Namco Bandai thought it might be time for the game to make an appearance on DSiWare as well. Now puzzle fans looking for a little arcade digging action can enjoy the game on the go and with a nice added set of touchscreen controls to go along with it.

The basic gameplay premise of Mr. Driller hasn't changed much since the game was first introduced a decade ago, but there are a few new touches in the DSiWare release to at least give the game a hint of fresh appeal to those who've already enjoyed the game's releases on various other systems. You still have to guide your digger down through a plethora of multi-colored blocks, picking up air capsules and avoiding being crushed by falling blocks on your way to the goal at the bottom of the stage. While this might sound easy enough, you'll quickly find that trying to join like-coloured blocks to cause the chain reactions needed to take out multiple blocks at once while manoeuvring around the area and still trying to find time to pick up air capsules can become quite challenging in a hurry.

This DSiWare version offers up three different modes of play. The Mission mode is the main game itself and offers you a chance to play any of the game's 17 levels in a challenge to reach the goal and rack up as many points as possible doing so. You'll even be able to purchase speciality items that can make things a bit easier by racking up mileage. You'll also be graded on your performance on each level and depending on how well you did, you'll be awarded one of three medals. While this might seem like a small touch, it does offer an incentive to go back and try to get gold medals on each level if you weren't able to do so the first time around.

Time Attack mode allows you to play each level in a race to complete the level in the shortest amount of time. Each level has its own set time limit for you to shoot for and the game will even save your best time in case you want to come back to the level and shoot for an even better time.

If you're looking for something even more challenging, you can choose to play the game's Dristone mode. This injects a huge amount of strategy into the game and allows you to attempt to reach the goal by carefully choosing each drilling you perform along with the many Dristones strung around each level. Each time you drill it uses up air in your reserve, so you'll have to figure out the best way to proceed down through each stage if you're going to make it to the goal with the limited supply of air being eaten away each time you drill. While this might sound quite similar to the main game, it's actually much more intense and offers a nice twist for those who prefer a more deliberately-paced puzzle experience.

While there aren't a lot of added bells and whistles in the visual presentation of the game, the developers have still done a solid job of bringing the vivid and colorful world of Mr. Driller to life on the two screens of the DSi system. There's plenty of variety and detail in the many areas and block schemes, and you'll never have any trouble following the games action, even using the rather tiny characters the game makes use of. And to compliment the visuals, there's also plenty of upbeat and catchy musical tracks to liven things up.

In truth, there's not a lot here that fans of the series haven't already seen before and while gamers who just can't get enough of the Mr. Driller experience will likely enjoy this budget-priced release, fans looking for something new to sink their teeth into might come away a bit disappointed. The game is still as much fun as ever to play and despite the WiiWare version being perfectly capable, the game seems to fit the DSi system a bit better overall.


Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop doesn't try to change things up much and certainly doesn't try to reinvent itself for its debut on DSiWare. It basically takes some of the better ideas of the series and packages them into a nice budget-sized title that should give fans of the series yet another Mr. Driller release to enjoy. Of course you still can't help but wish that the developers might have taken a few more risks and tried to mix things up a bit more to inject some new life into the series rather than taking the safe route yet again. Either way, it's still hard to complain much given the game's fun factor and low 500 Nintendo Point price tag.

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User Comments (28)



sykotek said:

I agree with your review. I've been playing it for the last few hours, it is a great game and well worth the low price of 500 points for what you get.



Omega said:

Mr. Driller is one classic game I'll still have to try. I have been reluctant to buy a version because, judging from videos, it looks kind of boring. These block puzzle game have always annoyed me according to the lack of variety. I'm not a big fan of Tetris either.



Sean_Aaron said:

Mehraba jazzydude! I was wondering if we'd ever have any Turkish readers registering accounts.

It's a nice slice of drilling action. I prefer the use of Dristones in Hole of Druaga in Drill Land, but it's nice to see them making an appearance in games available outside of Japan for a change.

I had no issues paying the premium price for the Japanese version of this game, so for 500 points it's a positive bargain!



turtlelink said:

I like the country Turkey!
Anyway, a long time before i got my first DS, i wanted the retail so badly, but never got it. Guess i'll pick this on up.



KeeperBvK said:

Are the Time Attack levels the same as in Drill Spirits. If not, I'd definitely download this, but otherwise sure not.



paulesungnomo said:

i was really looking forward to this game and got it when it came out on the 5th... so far its great, and the music is friggin hilarious:)



Sean_Aaron said:

Time Attack is part of Drill Spirits. What this release is missing are the Pressure Driller Mode (which seems to be based upon the boss fights from Drill Land) and multiplayer. It doesn't seem to offer anything new for anyone who already owns Drill Spirits (unless you have the NA release which had several things missing from the Japanese and European release including Dristone Mode).



KeeperBvK said:

You're not answering my question, Sean. I know what modes this and Drill Spirits have and what the differences between the US/NA/JP versions are (I've committed months writing a guide for gamefaqs), but I want to know if the Time Attack stages (hence the only ones that are not randomly created) are new or not.



Sean_Aaron said:

Um, I think it's pretty clear that if Time Attack is a mode in Drill Spirits, it's not new.



JoeDiddley said:

I hope that this is released in Europe soon. I love the game but sold Drill Spirits because I wanted a downloadable version of the game that I did not have to carry around.
500 points is a bargain.



Corbs said:

And the 6 is understandable. It all depends on how you approach this release. If you're looking for something brand new, you're going to be quite disappointed. This is more of the same, just still a lot of fun and at a great price.



EdEN said:

Well, owning the Wiiware version doesn't really make one jump of joy when a "port" is available for DSiware. Other than the portability, I see no need to repurchase it at the moment.




Used to have the DS retail purchase, butnot any more; so this'll be downloaded IF it comes our way(?)



KeeperBvK said:

@ Sean: Why should it? Every Mr Driller game to date had a Time Attack mode and the stages were always new. "Um, I think it's pretty clear, I was talking about the stages, not the mode". Thanks in advance for truly reading my posts next time before replying.



cheapogamer4life said:

Had a version of this on a XBLA compilation disc a while back. Thought it as o.k. but I dont think I ever really gave it a chance to grow on me. To many awesome 360 games. This really seems like a pretty good deal, but leader boards could have really help this one out a lot. May end up getting this one just to encourage Namco Bandi to bring more of their classic collection to the DSiware shop.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Keeper: Apologies, I missed the stages part of your query. I'd say that since this is obviously a repackaging of parts of Drill Spirits, the chances of any of the content in common between them being in any way different is next to non-existant.

Hope that's clear enough for you.



Kyloctopus said:

The game is fun but it's a multitasking puzzle. You got to see your heath, what your going to dig into next and look above you if your going to be squished.



grumblegrumble said:

I love the different "overseas" influences in this game... From the music to the little kid cheers in the background (is that what that's called?) and the gameplay overall I agree is worthy of this score you gave. Great game!



Boman said:

I'm going to get this tonight...well after 12.00
I'll have to free some blocks.. = (
Puzzle games are perfect for dsiware.
I wonder why popcap does'nt release games for dsiware.
I would like to play bejeweled or peggle ( yes I know they are out on card)



jazzydude said:

hi sean!
so yeah im a student and english is my second language nice to have some one who kinda knows turkish



Philip_J_Reed said:

Bought it (thank you, eshop wishlist, for reminding me!) and love it. Great to have on the go.

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