Mr. Driller DrillLand

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Mr. Driller DrillLand Game Poster Image
Cartoony puzzler digs a fun, challenging niche for itself.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There's a thin plot in the single player mode with a "good guys vs. bad guys" theme, but even then, the heroes are oblivious to it and are simply enjoying a trip to a new theme park.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Susumu and his friends/family are all friendly, good natured characters. They are proven heroes, teammates, and generally positive role models.

Ease of Play

Like many puzzle games, the controls are easy to pick up and play, but it's the stages themselves that provide a lot of challenge. Balancing air consumption, color matching, and tracking how pieces will fall takes a lot of quick thinking. A "Casual" mode has been introduced to make things easier for beginner players.

Violence & Scariness

Players can get crushed by collapsing rubble, showing a cartoon image of an angel flying off before respawning. Certain stages also have players fighting against different creatures. Defeated enemies simply disappear from the screen and there's no blood shown.

Language
Consumerism

This is the latest game in the Mr. Driller series.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mr. Driller DrillLand is a puzzle game available on Nintendo Switch and Windows based PCs. Players can compete in single and multiplayer puzzles, drilling through multicolored blocks, fighting random enemies, and working around and through various obstacles. The game's controls are quick to learn, though the challenge is in the game's steep difficulty curve. There's a Casual mode that can ease beginners into the experience. There's some mild cartoonish violence, with players poking at enemies in combat and cartoon angels flying away when players get crushed under rubble. There's one stage in the game with a German theme that shows a character running back and forth in the background with what appears to be a mug of beer.

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What's it about?

MR. DRILLER DRILLLAND brings the Japanese GameCube classic puzzle game to audiences worldwide for the first time, complete with all new high definition cutscenes and updated visuals. When a new underground amusement park is opened to the public, Susumu and his fellow Driller friends and family are invited as the VIP guests of honor. But all isn't what it seems in this park, which is built as an elaborate trap for the heroes. Oblivious to the potential danger, the team explores the five different attractions in the park. Whether it's the sci-fi themed space adventure of Star Driller or the ghostly scares of the Horror Night House, each attraction is tailor made to challenge the drilling skills of the team. Do you have the skills to guide the Drillers to safety in the underground park and escape the elaborate trap, or will you be buried forever in this fun park adventure?

Is it any good?

While this is about the world of underground puzzle games, it's not about some illicit network of shady brain teasers. Instead, this is Mr. Driller DrillLand, a colorful and cartoonish puzzle game that literally takes place under the ground. This is a remake of the 2002 Japanese GameCube game and, while the game has gotten a bright and shiny new HD paint job, it's the core gameplay that going to keep fans coming back for more. Despite its age, the game is still a fun puzzler built on a strong bedrock foundation that's managed to stand the test of time.

Make no mistake, Mr. Driller DrillLand is not an easy game by any means. While it's easy to pick up and play for all ages, the game's difficulty curve is still steep. There's a lot to try and keep track of as players dig their way to their goal. Aside from monitoring things like air levels and color matches, there are times when some rubble left higher up in a stage might come crashing down unexpectedly later. It's tense and nerve-racking, but it's still fun. This new version of the game includes a Casual mode to help ease players into the experience by reducing the amount of air used, making enemies weaker, and otherwise reducing the difficulty. It's still a challenge, but at least a slightly easier one. Add in multiplayer for up to four players and more collectibles than you could fill a rock quarry with, and you've got one virtual amusement park puzzle game you'll like taking a vacation to.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefit of puzzle games. What are some ways that puzzle games help players improve problem-solving skills and how they think under pressure?

  • What are some of the key things that make games "family-friendly?" How can these games help to bring families together?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

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