You know, developer GameFreak has created other games besides the long-running Pokémon series. For instance, there's Drill Dozer, a 2006 Game Boy Advance title that you probably didn't play. It hit stores just as the Nintendo DS was enjoying its early dominance and it looked too cute for its own good when it came to finding a wide audience. Nevertheless, you really should seek it out sometime, as it's an exceptional 2D puzzle/platformer title. Luke Osterritter over at GameSpite ruminates on the overlooked adventure of heroine Jill Dozer and her amazing battle drill.
The game’s fairly to pierce the mainstream game market is well-documented, but just what is it that makes Drill Dozer so special? At its core, the game is a platformer. You play as Jill, the pink haired, cute-as-a-button yet tough-as-nails protagonist, as she travels in her hulking, open-top bipedal warmachine. Did I mention the thing’s got a drill? Think Final Fantasy VI’s Magitek armor as manufactured be DeWalt and you’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood of understanding this thing’s badassery.
Each stage is host to a variety of blocks of different sizes, each with different properties. Some simply break, while others regenerate after a certain period of time, while still other just won’t break at all. Littered through the world is a cadre of mundane items: statues, chairs, desks, bandits, and robots, to name a few. Obstacles vary, but all are circumvented with the same elegant solution: apply drill, repeat as needed.
I picked the game up back when it came out, but it wasn't easy to find (already a sign of impending sales doom). The game cartridge's built-in rumble capability added a certain special something to the experience, and while we may see Drill Dozer again someday in a retro download service (or unofficial emulation), I doubt we'll see it in the rumbling format for which it was intended to be played. Definitely pick up the cartridge sometime should you find it around.