Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

The Finest Power Shovel Simulator on the Market

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 by Andrew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 95 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5)

Power Shovel, developed by Taito and published by Acclaim, is a power shovel simulator released in 2001 for the Sony Playstation. The game is split up into various wacky game modes where players are given tasks ranging from digging holes to pouring spicy curry into bowls of rice. At first glance it seems like a childish game, and it is to a degree, but it can get very complicated with its unforgiving controls and time limits.

Mechanical Advantage

The main gameplay mechanic in Power Shovel is mechanical advantage. Most of the gameplay modes revolve around digging holes in dirt, and loading the dirt into some vessel, and since each joint of the power shovel’s arm is controlled by a button on the controller, it’s up to the player to manipulate the arm segments in order to scoop up the most dirt. It takes some time getting used to the controls, and even then, getting used to them is only half the battle. The real challenge comes in when determining the best way to bend all of the arm’s joints. The idea is generally to extend the arm, lower the shovel, and then drag it back in order to dig the most. The dirt is physically simulated, so you have to adjust your technique with each scoop, as the level of the dirt gets lower and lower. Also you have to be careful not to spill any dirt or bump any objects with the shovel, as points are deducted for such violations.

Many Game Modes

While the most physically interesting gameplay is found in the digging-related modes, there is an abundance of other gameplay modes. There’s an obstacle course, a math game, and a few modes based around destroying buildings or cars. In one game mode, there is a pile of dirt, and you have to level out the top of it by knocking dirt off with the shovel. There is an extensive amount of unlockable content, including new game modes, videos, a music gallery, and even a level editor for the obstacle course.

Power Shovel Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Power Shovel Game Screenshots)


The game is somewhat rare, especially since most video game stores have stopped carrying original Playstation games. It took nearly 6 months of fevered searching for me to find a copy. Ultimately it’s a pretty cool game. It has a bit of a learning curve, but if you can get over the game’s first hurdle of mastering the complex controls, there’s a lot of fun to be had. From its zany music and hilarious gameplay modes to its plethora of unlockable content, the game is simply addictive fun. And it’s fun that will last a while. Even after you’ve mastered all the game modes, you’ll still find yourself wanting to come back for more. A sandbox mode where the player could dig holes or make dirt piles to his/her content would have made the game last for much longer, but it’s still a fun game on as it is. With its various game modes and unique challenges, there is a lot to do if you can get your hands on a copy.

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21 Responses to 'The Finest Power Shovel Simulator on the Market'

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  1. BillyBobBean said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    I have checked this site very long time now but I havent posted any replys until now. I like this site because I love physics games.

    The game looks… Great. Gonna try.

  2. Nintendo-Guy said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Yay! Finally a review! The game looks pretty neat. I shall try it later.

  3. Cheroro said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    1st post awesome………

    I’m disappointed that we’ve been waiting so long just for a video, i thought the game looked cool, but i wanted to download something……..

  4. walaber said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    nice to see a new review! This game looks amazing for a PS1 game, it’s a shame it sounds so hard to track down, I’d love to give it a try.

  5. Matthew said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    It may be emulatable–curious to hear if anyone successfully goes that route or not.

  6. Ziger said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Hey! I have that game on Playstation 1!! It’s an awesome game. Hard to get used to the controls though…or was I just too little? Well I haven’t seen this game for a while because I had to leave my PS1 when I moved to Canada so…yea, very hard to remember that game… Anyways I’m happy to see a review on one my my favorites :D

  7. Ziger said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    (Sorry for the double post) I forgot to say, nice to see a review right on The first day of 2008! Oh yea : HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

  8. Raven said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    it looks funny but do you really have to buy it in a store or is it a free game???
    Happy Newyear Everybody

    ps:is it always that you have to dig in time?

  9. weasel C. said,

    on January 1st, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    From a couple of sources i heard rockstar is going to be making another sandbox game with a literal approach exclusive to the ps3. Im not sure if it was confirmed or not but I’m excited.

  10. Dj Demetrius said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I can’t believe it! I have this game :D It’s lying in my old “PSX Box” in a córner of my room. It’s really fun, I like the game where you have to kill little rocket-people :) Also, someone asked for a simulator like this on the forums, and i said “I’ve played a shovel sim on the PSX”, but they didn’t believe me!

  11. Muntu said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 4:54 am

    That’s quite amazing for a PS1 game. And a new review here is quite amazing too :D

  12. Shalafi said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Bah, so many time without a review a now that – I’s not even playable (now) with our computers.

    What about CC? The semi-comercial build is out!

  13. Lolzapoluza said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I have the game also. It’s missing it’s original case, but it still works. It never occurred to me that it was physics driven. I always used to smash up the cars and scenery. There was also a mini game where you had to pour curry into the centre of plates of rice which i found strange…

    Anyway, good review and happy new year.

  14. Neo said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    … that’s kinda dissapointing, we have a new review, but it’s for the PSX.

    But, WE HAVE A NEW REVIEW!!!1!one! yay!

  15. Neo said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    some new Virtools games would be nice…

  16. candyman said,

    on January 2nd, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    looks like a great game…WOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i have finally …omg, im forgetting so many words today…registered?registrated?resigned?RESERVE! yea, i reserved super sdmash bros brawl. u can reserve that game and the new sonic riders 0 gravity coming soon at gamespot

  17. Ziger said,

    on January 3rd, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Dj Demetrius,I beleive you because I have that game too! :D

    You can’t lie though…Pretty much all the game modes are fun (and frustrating xD) but my favorite is the… I don’t know lol.. I think I used to like the car crashing one… ;)

  18. Derds said,

    on February 6th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I AM5

  19. Tenchi said,

    on February 29th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Such an odd yet fun game! ^-^ Was lucky to find the game locally in fair condition (no manual, mild disc marks). So far, the most intriguing “event” was the turtles in the swimming pool (shown in the above clip). It’s hard to explain why… ^^’ The original Japanese release was called, “The Power Shovel ~Pover Shovel ni Norou!!~” and was Vol. 89 in D3 Publisher’s “Simple 1500 Series”. What’s very interesting is that almost 100% of the original Japanese content has remained in the American release! The only stuff that was translated was basic written instructions on how to carry out each task. Aside from that, all voice samples and general feeling of the game IS Japanese….. SPLENDID! \^o^/

    Anyhoo, anyone have an idea what tune is playing in the above video? It’s definitely not from the game…

  20. on June 26th, 2008 at 2:07 am

    fun math review games…

    As you seem to know what your doing blogging wise, do you know what the best time of the week is to blog and have them read?…

  21. anonymous said,

    on February 10th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    In essence, this game is more realistic than anyone realizes, but it would take too long to explain why. Naturally, it’s best played with the dual analog sticks on your controller rather than the buttons. Another thing most people don’t realize is that the stick and track controls are exactly as they are for a real excavator, so if you think the controls are too complicated, forget ever climbing on a real one. You’ll get yourself or someone else killed. (literally)

    While there’s bound to be a holier-than-thou operator lurking and waiting to point out the game’s shortcomings as a simulator, don’t ever listen to anyone like this. I am an excavator operator myself and no matter how many hours I have on the machine at work, I still enjoy this game as an all time and often revisited favorite. If you love games that have precise, fluid and deep controls that keep you addicted, there’s not a single game in the universe that even comes close to this one.

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