“Boulder Dash is at heart a deterministic puzzler. You solve the puzzle by collecting enough jewels in a cave to move on to the next cave. Relative to a lot of action games, you don’t need a lot of speed, agility or fine motor control. And the elements you need to solve the puzzle are right in front of you. So some of the necessary ingredients to addictiveness – challenge and attainable reward – are there. Attaining the award also tends to involve solving and learning patterns incrementally, which is itself addictive.
But I think that Boulder Dash is also attractive because it appeals to a variety of drives. There are elements of greed, hunting, chasing, fleeing, exploring and destruction that all appeal to primal urges. There is humour in situations where Rockford haplessly gets trapped among boulders, or gets blown up when a boulder falls on him.”
Peter Leipa (Speaking to Edge in 2013)