Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop Review

Mr Driller: Drill Till You Drop LogoMr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop is one of the best iterations in the long-running series and offers three modes of play for $5. In this single-player game you can play as one of six characters, each with their own attributes like speed and jumping ability. 

The goal of Mission mode is to dig through 17 stages of coloured blocks to reach great depths. The caveat is that you have an constantly decreasing supply of air and must pick up air capsules as you drill before you run out. Read More…

If you run out of air, you will lose one of the three lives you start with. You will also lose a life if you are crushed by a block falling from above. Having to balance your air supply and choosing a safe route through stages makes Mr. Driller a unique puzzle game series.

There are 17 Stages in Mission ModeBlocks of like colour will fuse to one another as they fall. Should four or more blocks fuse, the entire group will disappear and create a cascade. X-Blocks take multiple hits to drill through and will decrease your air by a full 20%, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

By default, your character and jump up one level of blocks, which can help you get out of some sticky situations. You can drill up, down, left or right using the face buttons, shoulder buttons or touch screen controls. You can also move using touch controls or the d-pad. Both the traditional and touch screen control options are tight and responsive.

In Time Attack mode, you must reach your goal within a time limit. Choosing the fastest route possible and picking up Time Items along the way are crucial to success. In Dristone mode the objective is to reach the goal in the fewest amount of digs possible. Each time you drill, you will lose 1% of your air and you start with a single life. If you are crushed you will lose 20% of your air.

The 32 Dristones in this mode have unique effects like destroying all the blocks of a certain colour or changing their colour. Dristone mode is probably the best addition to the Mr. Driller series ever and it creates a much more strategic experience. The downfall is that the top screen of your DSi or DSi XL displays Dristone information instead of the blocks above you, which can lead to some frustrating mistakes.

Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop looks and sounds great. Stages employ multiple colour palettes, often with attractive bright and pastel tones ans on-screen information is easy to read. The music is very catchy with a distinct Japanese quirkiness to it. Sound effects are pleasant and there is an audio queue to warn you of low air.

Though it lacks any local or online multiplayer modes, Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop is excellent value for puzzle fans, and especially for North American Mr. Driller fans thanks to the inclusion of Dristone mode; previously exclusive to European and Japanese iterations. Completing all three modes and mastering the traits of each character will consume many fun-filled hours.


+ Traditional and Stylus Controls
+ Dristone Mode adds Strategy
+ Great Music
+ Good Value


- No Multiplayer Modes or Online Leaderboards

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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward


Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop (DSiWare) Quick Facts:

Genre: Puzzle / Platformer
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: April 5, 2010
Price: 500 Nintendo Points ($5)
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)