Coming up in Episode 15 – Drill Dozer (Game Boy Advance)

In Episode 15, we’ve got Tibbs’ pick, Drill Dozer on the GBA. It’s a game neither of us have played before, so it’s going to be an interesting experience!

It’s a late Game Boy Advance game, not popping up until September 2005 in Japan and February 2006 in the US. It had no other release elsewhere until an appearance on the Wii U virtual console in 2016.

The game is memorable for being one of only 2 cartridges on the system to include a rumble feature inside it (the other being WarioWare: Twisted, fact fans!) Due to its late appearance (remember the DS was already out by this point) and limited regional production, picking up a copy can easily set you back north of £50 these days. As a result, sadly neither of us will be experiencing that rumble feature ourselves to tell you how much it’s worth it, so we’ll be cheating a bit and emulating this one.

You play as Jill, daughter of Doug, who is leader of The Red Dozers, a gang of bandits who are attacked by a rival gang; The Skullkers. The antagonists steal from them a powerful red diamond – a gift from Jill’s deceased Mother. This prompts Jill to hop into a drilling mech called the Drill Dozer, and lead the Red Dozers on a mission to reclaim the jewel on her parents behalf.

Drill Dozer takes your classic 2D platforming approach, with the addition of the ever-present drill fitted to the front of the mech. With this, you can bore into certain blocks – as well as enemies and bosses – and is activated using the L and R buttons to spin it forwards or backwards. The huge, maze-like corridor levels hide within them gear upgrades that allow the drill to shift up during use, which can break through tougher blocks and utilise gimmicks differently, which in turn unlock new routes off of areas that you’ve already explored.

Like Tembo the Badass Elephant, which we played back in Episode 9, this is another single-game franchise by Game Freak that’s somewhat pushed aside in favour of its far more successful sibling, a little known series called Pokemon. You may have heard of it.

But does it match the high standards of the developer? We’ll find out when episode 15 of Pod ‘Em Up releases on all good podcast clients (and some mediocre ones) in early August!

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