Oil's Well. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Carol Holzberg
Not every game from 1982 warrants recycling, but the addictive Oil's Well is worth a second look. Originally released for 8-bit cartridge computers, the game is now fully redesigned to take advantage of high-resolution VGA graphics and sound cards. But even if your computer is a standard system limited to CGA graphics and ordinary internal speaker sounds. Oil's Well promises hours of amusement.
The object of the game is to maneuver an oil-drill bit deep beneath the earth's surface, guzzling every drop of crude you encounter along the way. The more oil devoured before time runs out, the higher your total score. You earn extra points when you gobble oil goblets and avoid the destructive little beasties that delight in demolishing your oil-drilling equipment. Steer clear of land mines, or your bit will bite the dust and gobble goo no more. Be prepared to wage several battles against unrelenting environmental opposition before you navigate an entire screen.
Since you begin each game with only three drill bits and your first replacement is 10,000 points away, each bit is precious. Ingest all the oil pellets onscreen, and you advance to the next maze of obstacles. But don't give up! Oil's Well only ends well if you meet Slater, an animated petrosaur who lives beneath the oil fields.
Oil's Well is perfect for when you want mindless arcadelike challenges; despite drilling deep, there's no depth of play. Nevertheless, Oil's Well delivers good fun.