Mr. DRILLER DrillLand – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Puzzle
Developer: INFINITY Co., Ltd.
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Mr. DRILLER DrillLand – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Authentic arcade fun, Great to play with friends and family, Visuals
Bad: Limited content
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Mr. DRILLER game series is a fairly iconic one. Many people know (some of) the characters, and we have actually seen quite a bit of gameplay of these games. Nonetheless, many of these games were Japan exclusives and only a few made it to the West. This series had a few memorable titles over the years, and many gamers loved these titles because of their simple-to-understand mechanics, while also offering a proper challenge for hardcore gamers. Last year, Mr. DRILLER DrillLand was released on PC and Switch, and now we can also enjoy the game on our next-gen hardware.

Story

Even though the game comes with a story, it merely serves as the binding agent for the mishmash of different themes in the game. The cast of the Mr. DRILLER games gets invited to a theme park, where different challenges await. Each challenge often matches one of the characters’ skillsets and thus you’ll have to play with the recommended driller. We loved the short cutscenes and the themed attractions, but you won’t be playing this one for its deep and engaging narrative.

Graphics

Fun and colorful are the two words to immediately describe this title. The game truly looks like a proper arcade classic similar to titles such as Puyo Puyo and Bust-A-Move. This title, with its theme park theme, adds a lot of variations to the traditional graphics of Mr. DRILLER. We get to explore the classic mode, but also a haunted house version, an adventure-themed attraction, one that situates itself in outer space, and so on. The theme park setup acts as a proper glue to make this mix of different styles very appealing. That being said, the short cutscenes sometimes hog the limelight, as these could easily be made in full-length cartoons thanks to the very lovely cast of this game.

Sound

For the most part, the sound design is fairly okay. The sound effects are decent and the game comes with an amusing backdrop. That being said, the latter can get annoying in multiplayer mode, as the same (somewhat annoying) song keeps looping over and over. One of these songs reminded us of a budget-bin version of the LocoRoco soundtrack.

Gameplay

Mr. DRILLER DrillLand¬†is an arcade experience through and through. The game will either allow you to play through themed single-player levels on your own, or play multiplayer offline or online. The single-player mode can be played via the casual or classic format, with the casual mode being slightly easier than the original classic mode. Nonetheless, the goal remains the same for most stages and modes: you’ll have to drill your way to the bottom with your character in order to reach the end of the level. In the single-player mode, hazards may be added, as well as certain objectives, such as collecting keys or items. In the battle mode, players may have to dig to find a hidden coin first. Overall, things are very simple to understand, and before you know it, you’ll also know what you shouldn’t do in the game, as blocks may fall on your head if you dig without caution and certain blocks may cause you to lose some of the precious gas that powers your drill.

Everything is actually very amusing and fun in DrillLand, and for the most part, we had a blast. The game does get repetitive when playing it for longer periods of time, and the controls can be a bit finicky. We felt that the mechanics for climbing up one row were somewhat awkward, as the game does this automatically for you. Sometimes we would already climb up when just coming close to a block of the higher row, while at other times the game didn’t properly respond to us trying to climb up one row.¬†This could have easily been solved by also adding a jump button. Other than that, everything is straightforward and easy to work with. We tried to play online several times, but sadly never found any online players.

Conclusion

Mr. DRILLER DrillLand is an absolute blast to play with friends, but also as a single-player experience. We loved the different themed ‘rides’ in the theme park, but we also enjoyed ourselves when playing the multiplayer mode competitively. Sadly, it seems that the servers are somewhat deserted, but local co-op is probably still a lot more fun than just playing with strangers online. Even in casual mode, the game packs a proper challenge and the mechanics make this a very accessible game for all ages. We can easily recommend this one, especially considering its fairly low price tag.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Mr. DRILLER DrillLand - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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