Otaku World
An Otaku World review of

Mr. Driller


Reviewed by Jennifer Diane Reitz, May 14 2000
Jennifer Diane Reitz
Jennifer Diane Reitz
Platform Reviewed Playstation
Genre Arcade Action Puzzle
Number of Players One
Multiplayer Value None
Length Infinite
Difficulty Moderate
Skills Required Logic and intuition
Interface Devices Joypad
Interface Design Brilliant
Programming Brilliant
Game Design and Playability So addictive it should have been called "Mr. Druglord"
Type Of Fun Boulderdash meets Tetris by way of Dig Dug
Replay Value You will be returning to this for a long time to come
Overall Value Great
Quality Superior
The Best Wonderful gameplay aside, the music in Mr. Driller is absolutely incredible. I want the soundtrack! Some of the best game music and sounds an arcade puzzler ever had. 
The Worst There are some definite Freudian overtones in this game about drilling.....

Inexplicably, this is one-player only.

How much I would pay for this 30 bucks, which coincidentally, is the average price.


A block-based boulderdash like game, Mr. Driller incorporates the physics of Boulderdash, the shapes of Tetris, the mix of logic-and-intuition of Tetris, and packages it with beyond great sounds and effects.


Colorful candy blocks well up from beneath the hollow earth and threaten the city of Downtown. Only the singular and amazing Mr. Driller and his Big Sturdy Drill can penetrate to the bottom of things and come up with answers!


From the ultra-kawaii anime/cutout opening that leads to a title that manages to mix 1920's cartoon music with Big Boom Blaster tunage, one is quickly made aware that Namco started with arcade puzzle games, and the brilliance of Soul Caliber aside, has no intention of giving up the arcade crown.

Namco, of course, is famous for Pac-Man (and family), Dig Dug, Druaga, Rolling Thunder, Dragon Saber, Galaga and Galaxian, Mappy, Pole Position, Rally-X, Bosconian... basically, if you know games, you know Namco. Before they became a dominate force in fighting games, Namco ruled the arcade, and are perhaps the single most influential arcade influence in history.

One would expect a company with such a pedigree should, if they were to create yet another super-cute arcade puzzle game, create something beyond great.

They have.

Mr. Driller is stunning...for an arcade puzzle game. The player, as Mr. Driller, must drill down to find the mystery of the candy blocks that threaten the city, and the game is a test of nerves, logic and intuition. It is interesting to note that the game is best played with the same 'Tetris Trance' of Zen consciousness that the best arcade fare demand. At once familiar, yet original, Mr. Driller addicts fiercely.

The music is mesmerizing, and the entire super-deformed look of everything is so cute and candy colored as to induce diabetes at 30 feet, and the Freudian riff simply tilts the game into a Very Weird Place.

This is a very fun game. The only unhappy note is the lack of a two player mode, which is difficult to comprehend. Oh well!



Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, one of the co-founders of Otaku World, and, in an earlier time, a co-founder of Happy Puppy Games OnRamp (where she was also wrote many game reviews).  She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin', Kokoro Wish, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since its earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.