Emerald Mine is a surprise hit from 1987 made exclusively for Commodore computers which originated on the Amiga. It is the advanced evolution of the classic 8-bit game Boulderdash
. The game is an addicting underground mixture that lives somewhere between the arcade action of Dig Dug and the puzzle challenges of Lode Runner.
In 1988, AmigaWorld magazine’s November issue was devoted to games - a diversion from the typical focus towards programming, video and graphics editing and hardware reviews. They decided to poll the editors of the magazine and compiled a list of the top 40 games for the platform. This was a not-so-subtle homage to American Top 40
hosted by Casey Kasem, which was a very popular radio program (and still exists to this day).
Throughout the magazine huge hits are counted down, including Bard’s Tale (I & II), Arkanoid, Earl Weaver Baseball, F/A-18 Interceptor, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Uninvited and other great classics.
And there at the top, at number one
, is a little game that didn’t offer the greatest graphics or even the most amazing sound. But what it did offer was arcade quality puzzles and action in a very simple package for only $19.95 (essentially “budget” software for the time). And it was made on and for the Amiga.
Emerald Mine is the first Amiga game that will go down in history as an arcade classic. It is not a simple shoot-‘em-up, reflex-style arcade game; instead, it is a series of complex but clever tasks that involve both speed and strategy from the players. The basic idea is to mine each level of its emeralds and diamonds, avoiding rocks, bombs, bugs, slime, sand, robots and traps. With over 100 levels, it is fun for people of all ages. Highly addicting!
“After 562 plays and 25 levels, I still can’t get enough” - Bob Ryan
“Can someone tell me how to get past level 17?” - A voice in the crowd at the Amiga Developer’s Conference
“Out of time! Stupid game. I’ll just play a few more hours.” - Guy Wright
“Put a noisy bar around this game and a beer in my hand, and I’ll be in heaven.” - Roger Goode
Seriously - can their praise be any higher?
It truly is a very fun game and easy to fall into. We're only knocking down 1 point in our ratings because the leap from mildly hard to brutal can be rather sudden at times.
Multiple versions of Emerald Mine were created over the years up to the CD32 and even AGA versions. A level editor was released and fans created tons
of custom levels (see the Links section on this page).
Game Review Notes:
There are so many versions of this game out there. The one offered from this page is the original
by Kingsoft. It is intended to be played off a single floppy disk. To that end you are to boot your machine with the game in DF0:.
You should create your own name slot on the disk to save your progress (don’t use the default “no name”). The game will indeed save to your floppy as you advance.
And yes, Level 7 is a bitch! But you’ll figure it out. Don’t give up!