Oil's Well

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Oil's Well
Cover art of Oil's Well
Developer(s) Sierra On-Line
Publisher(s) Sierra On-Line
Designer(s) Thomas J. Mitchell
Composer(s) Ken Allen
Platform(s) Apple II, Atari 8-bit, C64, ColecoVision, MS-DOS, MSX
Release 1983 - 1984
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Single-player

Oil's Well is a computer game distributed by Sierra On-Line in 1983, and again in 1990. The game was programmed by Thomas J. Mitchell and Bill Sargent. Bill Sargent went on to work on The Sims and SimCity 2000. Oil's Well is similar to the 1982 arcade game Anteater.

The player attempts to manage an oil drilling operation and collect oil. This is done by moving the drill head through a maze using four directional control buttons; the head is trailed by a pipeline connecting it to the base. Subterranean creatures populate the maze; the head can destroy the creatures, but the pipeline is vulnerable. As the player traverses the maze, the pipe grows longer, but pressing a button quickly retracts the head. The player can advance through eight different levels.

The game was released for multiple platforms including the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, MSX, ColecoVision, and IBM compatibles.


Ahoy! stated that while the Commodore version's graphics and sounds were only "serviceable; gameplay is, in my experience, unique ... Recommended".[1] InfoWorld called the IBM PCjr version "a clever, basic game".[2]

The early 1980s U.S. gaming magazine Computer Games awarded Oil's Well the 1984 Golden Floppy Award for Excellence, in the category of "Maze Game of the Year."[3]


  1. ^ Davies, Lloyd (April 1984). "Oil's Well". Ahoy!. pp. 57–58. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Mace, Scott (1984-08-13). "PCjr: Back to Basics". InfoWorld. p. 38. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Computer Games Magazine 1984 Golden Floppy Award for Excellence". Computer Games Magazine: p. 18. July–August 1984. 

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