Screen shot 2009-09-01 at 4.39.14 AMMr. Driller [App Store] started as what was going to be the third game in the Dig Dug series, and even held the unofficial title of Dig Dug 3 by a few members of the Namco staff. Development of the game was eventually suspended, but later picked up again to be released to arcades as Mr. Driller. Since then there have been 8 different games in the series across 11 different platforms including arcades and mobile phones.

In the game, you play as a driller and drill your down clearing screens of blocks, collecting air tanks, and being sure to avoid the falling blocks that become loose after drilling supporting blocks below. When four blocks of the same color combine, they disappear, often creating a glorious chain reaction of countless blocks being eliminated from the screen.

driller

Three different control methods are included: Virtual D-Pad, swipe, and accelerometer. Each control method works exactly as you would expect. The virtual D-Pad obviously puts a D-Pad on screen to control your movement, with swipe enabled swiping in a direction moves your driller, and you can even move your driller by tilting with the accelerometer mode enabled. Also included in the options are four difficulty levels ranging from "easy" to "expert", and you can even change the amount of extra lives you start with from 1 to 5.

Namco published the following trailer to their YouTube page that shows all three included game modes:

In survival mode, you dig as deep as you can before you run out of extra lives or run out of air. In arcade mode, you can either choose a 500m or 1000m goal to shoot for, and time trial mode features 10 included levels that all have a twist to them with clocks that need to be picked up to increase the amount of time you have left.

Mr. Driller is a title I happily paid $30 for when it came out on the Nintendo DS a few years ago, and was just as glad to give another $10 when the port of the game hit XBOX Live Arcade last year. It was launched tonight for the iPhone at 99¢, which needless to say is an unbelievable price for a game released by a developer as big as Namco offering a fairly direct port of such a long-standing puzzle franchise. The iPhone version looks great, performs great, is just as fun as the other games in the series, and is an absolute steal at 99¢.

App Store Link: Mr. Driller, 99¢

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Tyrran

    Holy. Crap.
    I am getting this NOW.
    This will be top ten for weeks, mark my words!

  • Tyrran

    Holy. Crap.
    I am getting this NOW.
    This will be top ten for weeks, mark my words!

  • Moroboshi

    Not sure why this is in landscape mode, given the game takes place in thin, tall, tube...

    • spiffyone

      The dpad they implemented. It would've been better with purely touchscreen controls, like some of the other similar games on this platform, but I guess Namco didn't want to go through the trouble. Still, it's a buck, and it's a great game.

  • Moroboshi

    Not sure why this is in landscape mode, given the game takes place in thin, tall, tube...

    • spiffyone

      The dpad they implemented. It would've been better with purely touchscreen controls, like some of the other similar games on this platform, but I guess Namco didn't want to go through the trouble. Still, it's a buck, and it's a great game.

  • http://elendrik.blogspot.com Jamie Walker

    This was my favourite time-wasting game when I had the old Java version.

    I've quickly plumped for the $0.99 (59p) version in the UK store, and it's every bit as good, quick and easy to get into.

    This is the way we want our games, Namco ;) Yes, we like the clever updated ones, but you can't beat the classics for 59p!

  • http://elendrik.blogspot.com Jamie Walker

    This was my favourite time-wasting game when I had the old Java version.

    I've quickly plumped for the $0.99 (59p) version in the UK store, and it's every bit as good, quick and easy to get into.

    This is the way we want our games, Namco ;) Yes, we like the clever updated ones, but you can't beat the classics for 59p!

  • thewiirocks

    Man, figures. I just spent $8 to get the downloadable version on the Wii. They could have warned a guy or something!

    (Actually, this works out perfectly. I can practice on my iPhone while the kids monopolize the Wii. Then I can decimate the leaderboards while they're in bed. Mwhahaha! :P)

    • peter

      Are their Global scores in this game ?

  • thewiirocks

    Man, figures. I just spent $8 to get the downloadable version on the Wii. They could have warned a guy or something!

    (Actually, this works out perfectly. I can practice on my iPhone while the kids monopolize the Wii. Then I can decimate the leaderboards while they're in bed. Mwhahaha! :P)

    • peter

      Are their Global scores in this game ?

  • Paul

    @moroboshi - probably to allow room for the d-pad and all the UI stuff around the edges...

  • Paul

    @moroboshi - probably to allow room for the d-pad and all the UI stuff around the edges...

  • cookiemonster

    Awesome. grabbing it now

  • cookiemonster

    Awesome. grabbing it now

  • Syferus

    Fantastic value by Namco - they've came a long way from the days of Star Trigon being €9.99. Most of their output may be quick and dirty ports, but their understanding of price structure and engendering affection from the community clearly has expanded to the point where they're one of the better traditional game companies on the App Store, at least on those points.

  • Syferus

    Fantastic value by Namco - they've came a long way from the days of Star Trigon being €9.99. Most of their output may be quick and dirty ports, but their understanding of price structure and engendering affection from the community clearly has expanded to the point where they're one of the better traditional game companies on the App Store, at least on those points.

  • formal

    Why does "Mr Driller" look like Little Red Riding Hood?

  • formal

    Why does "Mr Driller" look like Little Red Riding Hood?

  • Duckee

    I have this for the XBOX as part of the Arcade Hits volumes. Now I have it for the iTouch. I enjoy the game very much but it is even more of a hit with the younger gen. Awesome price point, and I will now test it out so that I can give what I am sure will be my raving review to the App store.

  • Duckee

    I have this for the XBOX as part of the Arcade Hits volumes. Now I have it for the iTouch. I enjoy the game very much but it is even more of a hit with the younger gen. Awesome price point, and I will now test it out so that I can give what I am sure will be my raving review to the App store.

  • spiffyone

    Had this for Dreamcast. Loved it. This looks like it plays the exact same way, which is awesome. At a buck, it's a steal.

  • spiffyone

    Had this for Dreamcast. Loved it. This looks like it plays the exact same way, which is awesome. At a buck, it's a steal.

  • Chad

    I hope SEGA is paying attention. Same with Konami. And Square Enix. This is how you port. This is how you price. This is how you roll.

  • Chad

    I hope SEGA is paying attention. Same with Konami. And Square Enix. This is how you port. This is how you price. This is how you roll.

  • http://costa.kofeina.net CoSTa

    This game is awesome! Thanks a ton for a review! And thanks Namco for such a lovely pricetag. My wife and I just started a hard competition :)

  • http://costa.kofeina.net CoSTa

    This game is awesome! Thanks a ton for a review! And thanks Namco for such a lovely pricetag. My wife and I just started a hard competition :)

  • Kita

    I can't believe it's only a buck!!! I guess this means namco can make a decent profit out of this since there are so many iphone touches out there!

  • Kita

    I can't believe it's only a buck!!! I guess this means namco can make a decent profit out of this since there are so many iphone touches out there!

  • Ahiru

    gahh downloading as of right now!!

  • Ahiru

    gahh downloading as of right now!!

  • floyd

    Bought it. Its just average, I'm afraid.

    The bad:
    -Control is inexact with the dpad or touch. I didn't try motion controls but I'm sure thats probably worse.
    -Ridiculous this vertical game runs in landscape. Everything is very small.
    -I've experienced intermittent performance issues with fps slowdowns. This on a iPhone 3GS. Not unplayable by any means, but this is a very basic game to run into any performance problems...

    The good: its Mr. Driller, and its damn cheap. Personally I think Namco knew this was a fairly quick n dirty port so they just gave it the 99c treatment to test sales figures for their marketing dept.

  • floyd

    Bought it. Its just average, I'm afraid.

    The bad:
    -Control is inexact with the dpad or touch. I didn't try motion controls but I'm sure thats probably worse.
    -Ridiculous this vertical game runs in landscape. Everything is very small.
    -I've experienced intermittent performance issues with fps slowdowns. This on a iPhone 3GS. Not unplayable by any means, but this is a very basic game to run into any performance problems...

    The good: its Mr. Driller, and its damn cheap. Personally I think Namco knew this was a fairly quick n dirty port so they just gave it the 99c treatment to test sales figures for their marketing dept.

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com fun games for kids

    I played this game on PS years ago hehe.. Nostalgic :)

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com fun games for kids

    I played this game on PS years ago hehe.. Nostalgic :)

  • http://www.taykron.com/ matriax

    Remember me Dr. Mario ¿?. BTW looks very good.

  • http://www.taykron.com/ matriax

    Remember me Dr. Mario ¿?. BTW looks very good.