Mr. Driller is a take on the falling-block genre where you control a character rather controller than the blocks directly. As Susumu Hori, you must constantly dig downwards through a vertical shaft. You are able do so at a rapid pace, which is a good thing because you have a limited air supply. (Essentially, a time limit.) While digging, you must dodge blocks falling overhead, as well as collect as many air pellets as possible in order to survive long enough to reach the very bottom of the stage.
List of Releases
(1999) Mr. Driller (multiple platforms)
The very first Mr. Driller title was an arcade game released in 1999. It was ported worldwide to Playstation, Dreamcast, Windows PC, Game Boy Color, and mobile devices. It even came out for WonderSwan Color in Japan.
The Playstation version was eventually made available on Playstation Network as a PSone Classic, but only in Japan.
Mr. Driller for iPhone is based on this game. It is updated with touchscreen controls, and Susumu's in-game sprites have been redrawn from scratch to look like how he does in the artwork in later games.
(2000) Mr. Driller 2 (Arcade, GBA)
Although Mr. Driller 2 was originally an arcade title, it is best known as the Mr. Driller title for Game Boy Advance. Despite being one of the earliest Game Boy Advance titles in Japan, it took until 2005 before a USA version was finally released.
(2004) Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits (DS)
Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits (or Mr. Driller DS), released in 2004, is the Mr. Driller title for Nintendo DS and utilizes both screens to show the player more of what is happening above him/her. You also can unlock up to six characters to play as, each with unique strengths and weaknesses.
(2008) Mr. Driller Online (XBLA)
Mr. Driller Online, released 2008, is the Mr. Driller title for Xbox Live Arcade. It was critically panned for the fact that its online play was so poorly programmed to the point of being non-functioning.
(2009) Mr. Driller W (WiiWare)
Mr. Driller W (known in Japan as Mr. Driller World), released in 2009, is the only Mr. Driller title for Nintendo Wii and is only available on WiiWare.
(2009) Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop (DSi Ware)
Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop is a 2nd Mr. Driller title for Nintendo DS, but whereas the previous one was released as a game cartridge, this one is a downloadable DSiWare title and therefore can only be played using a DSi or 3DS. Drill Till You Drop makes use of DSi's improved audio capabilities and its soundtrack even includes song.
One of the modes is the "Dristone" mode in which the player must collect single-use powerup items in the form of colored gems. The player must use them as needed in order to survive the level and avoid running out of air.
Japan-only Mr. Driller titles:
Ironically, the titles not released in the West might be the most robust in the series, sporting their own theme songs/intros, adventure-themed stages, and complete storylines with a huge cast of characters, including an arch-nemesis.
Dig Dug: Digging Strike is based on Dig Dug games rather than being a Mr. Driller series game. However it takes place in the Mr. Driller universe and features characters from it.