Revision Jam (8 Bits to Infinity Anniversary): Driller: The New Fields

“Driller: The New Fields” by Ben James.

“Guide the drill through 10 underground caverns collecting oil pockets and battling resident monsters[.]”

There’s a high chance of you seeing a very similiar game before, because we already recommended “Driller” by Ben James on Twitter and in our The Jam Report article for February 2019. Originally it was made for the Palette Jam – a jam event of the 8 Bits to Infinity series initiated by Joshua McLean – back then and was ranked as the best entry overall. “Driller: The New Fields” is a refined version of the original “Driller”: Not only got the graphics an overhaul and the drill controls feel a lot smoother now, but a completely new scoring system was implemented, which gives the new version a great arcade vibe.

Just like in “Driller”, you have to collect oil pockets by moving the drilling machine to them. The monsters, which are living in the underground, will try to stop you by damaging the apparatus. Luckily for you, the top of your drill can destroy them, while the rest of your mechanical body is vulnerable to their attacks. While the main goal for you as a player is to collect all oil pellets of each stage, you can score even more points by fighting the creatures. Also, you get extra points when you passed a level very fast as well as for the reached maximum length of your drill per stage. Another new feature are several power-ups like temporary faster movement or a drill repair to restore your health.

“Driller: The New Fields” is a great example for the nature of game jams in general, as it shows off that jam participants don’t just create sometimes amazing prototypes, but also that a jam can be used to work further on a former project. A bit of polish here and there, some tweaks to the mechanics and voilà, a new gaming experience is established. And now, off you go, as you have a highscore to hunt after! >>PLAY