Drill Dozer

Drill Dozer

Drill Dozer

Dozer good job.

A good platform game's a bit like a clever detective. Probably one with a decent catchphrase and a bumbling sidekick he has to explain everything to. He's got his facts, and he's got you in the interrogation room. But you're a master crim! Artfully deflecting his aggression and smugly evading his traps of logic. Eventually one of you will win, but in the meantime there's room for lots of brinkmanship, you've got his magnificent trademark coat to admire - and what with Sherlock Holmes, Diagnosis Murder and that Gene Wilder one I saw at Christmas eating up all the good outfits and particularly hats, chances are it'll be a smoking jacket or a ballerina outfit.

But of course not all platform games are like this. Some of them wear you down by sitting and asking the same question over and over, while others go completely the other way and just keep changing subject so much that you quickly forget who you are, what you're doing and which buttons to push while you're being tripped up. Others just storm up to you like Jack Bauer, shoot you in the kneecap and bellow things like WHERE ARE THE CHAOS EMERALDS.

Drill Dozer, cobbled together by Pokemon developer Game Freak, is very much the clever detective, starting with a simple theme and gradually expanding upon it without ever abandoning the core idea. Thrust into a drill dozer suit, you're hot on the trail of some chaps who pinched your red diamond, and you're going to recover it by working your way through 2D side-scrolling platform levels that rely on your spinning drill-bit to break through walls and blocks, skip across pits, reach higher areas and unravel a clever group of enemies. It's all about drilling. You jump, you can drill clockwise or anti-clockwise by tugging L or R, and you can upgrade your bit twice per level to increase the drill action's speed and longevity. And while the questions the game asks grow ever more elaborate, they always focus on the key facts - and you're the one in the magnificent outfit.

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