Oils Well

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Oils Well
Title screen
Game No. 444
Voting 7.97 points, 33 votes
Developer Thomas J. Mitchell
Company Sierra Online Inc.
Publisher Sierra Online Inc., Aackosoft <- probably a rerelease
Release 1983
Platform C64, PC, Apple II, Atari 400
Genre Arcade, Collect'em Up
Gamemode Single player
Operation Icon Port1.pngJoystick
Media Diskette Cartridge
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

In this game Oils Well similar to Pac-Man you steer a drilling head that needs to collect all points in the aisles of the level. During this, enemies move horizontally on each plane. You can "eat them" with the drilling head, but if they touch the pipe the player will lose a life. So if an enemy gets too close to the pipe, you need to quickly climb up again. The difficulty is to choose the paths in dependence of your current position, so that you have enough time to advance to the deeper layers.

Design[edit | edit source]

The screen shows the oil refinery in the upper third and below this the soil with the aisles. Each of the eight levels is designed differently and caringly. In the refinery the available time and the drilling heads that are left are shown in the upper left and in the upper right you can see the points. On each plane there are two individual enemies. Unfortunately, the music only consists of a simple bass riff, but there are plenty of sound effects.

Hints[edit | edit source]

... an animation from level 1.
... another image from the game.

Controls[edit | edit source]

  • You move the drilling head inside the aisles with the directions of the joystick.
  • With the fire button you quickly draw it back.

Number of levels[edit | edit source]

After finishing the 8 levels they repeat and the enemies get faster each round. When you have played through all levels three times it gets as fast as in the first round.

Difficulty grade[edit | edit source]

The first three rounds can be chosen before the game as difficulty grades:

  • Regular
  • Unleaded
  • Premium

Items, enemies and points[edit | edit source]

Item Description / Info Points
Simple dots (Oil Pellets) When you have collected them all, you automatically reach the next level. 10
Big dots (Petromins) Special Oil Pellets, which temporarily slow down the enemies.
There is one per level, it does not need to be collected to end a level.
Cups (Goblets) Do not kill when they touch the pipe. 1.000
Enemies Description / Info Points
Land Mines Kill when touched with the drilling head, not with the pipe
Monster (Oozies) Kill when touched with the pipe 20

Points for the monsters[edit | edit source]

The game area is divided into 18 lines. At the start of the level the drilling head is in line 1. Except for a small shaft in level 7 there are no aisles there. Line 18 forms the lower border of the game area. The lines 2 and 4 to 17 can be occupied with aisles in which the monsters appear. In line 2 you get 20 points per monster, in line 4 you get 40 points and in line 5 you get 50 points etc. until line 17 with 170 points per monster. Line 3 is not ocuppied in any level, so that no monsters appear in line 3. So there are no monsters that get you 30 points.

Lives[edit | edit source]

  • You start with 3 lives.
  • Every 10.000 points you get another life.

Solution[edit | edit source]


  • As all the creatures always enter the game area from the border of the screen, you should try to stay in the middle with the drilling head, or respectively always choose the passage in the next deeper level that is closest to the middle of the screen, so you have more time to react and draw back the drilling head.
    The disadvantage here is, however, that longer paths are created and it can take longer until the drilling head is drawn back.
  • Sometimes it can be worth keeping an Oil Pellet. If you still have enough time left, it can be used to collect Oozies or Goblets, before you finally end the level. By this you can use the available time and yet get some extra points especially in lower levels.
    You should hereby look out for the time and not take great risks, because the 99 seconds that you have after losing a life are usually not enough to collect enough points with which you can compensate for a lost live.
    However, it is possible with this tactic to acquire an additional life after two levels.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

The version by "ASS" has next to a cheat mode also a saveable highscore liste.
If you decide to cheat, the time limit (99 sec./life) is left out and you have unlimited time.
The game results in the cheat mode are saved in a separate highscore list.

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
7.97 points at 33 votes (rank 114).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 6 11th July 2007 - "good" - 4443 downs
Lemon64 7,5 04th January 2011 - 50 votes
Kultboy.com 8,33 26th June 2011 - 3 votes

Reviews[edit | edit source]

Artur83: "Graphics and sound do look their age, but the game is rapid and challenging. A very good game principle with a great fun factor".

H.T.W: "A real classic, ingeniously simple but mind-boggingly fast, challenging and motivating. Just great, this game...".

blubarju: "There is nothing to object to in this game. An all around successful game that is fun. 7 points from me".

ZeHa: "One of my absolute favorites, such a great concept and I also love the mood created by the background music and the sound effects".

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]



Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of Mindless
  1. Mindless - 349.800 - 41 (09.07.2019)
  2. CHF - 339.040 (12.06.2013)
  3. Robotron2084 - 146.570 (21.06.2013)
  4. Artur83 - 96.720 (19.09.2010)
  5. Equinoxe - 89.500 (11.07.2012)
  6. Centauron - 68.270 (26.01.2014)
  7. Camailleon - 59.360 (07.03.2011)
  8. Ivanpaduano - 33.500 (08.06.2019)
  9. Werner - 25.310 (29.08.2010)
  10. Equinoxe Junior - 24.110 (11.07.2012)
  11. Blubarju - 22.710 (18.12.2009)
  12. Keule - 17.270 (04.05.2019)

#2 CHF #3 Robotron2084
#2 CHF #3 Robotron2084

  • Note from CW: The fourth round in my game starts with the following: In the first 3 levels everything moves in slow motion, then from level 4 onwards everything is even faster than in the third. Level 5 can't be done (lost 23 lives). Score by CW: 275930 (Round 4, level 5)
  • Note from Mindless: my Oils Well steadily increases speed over the first 3 rounds, as usual. In the fourth round the first 3 levels are super-fast (creatures move the same speed as your drill head), then the remaining 5 levels are like round-3 speed. Round 5 has the first 3 levels super-slow (creatures barely move), and the remaining 5 levels are super-fast. I consider passing 5 rounds as "winning" the game (and thus posted my score above from that point), because from round 6 onward it appears every level is super-slow.

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Oil's_Well