Initially, I assumed Full Bore was going to be a simple exploration and mining puzzle game with a gimmick—you play the game as a boar rather than a traditional adventurer. After I saw the trailer, I was already excited to see what made this game different from a game like Spelunky other than the admittedly awesome character choices. I was hooked immediately.
The game begins by allowing you to choose between two boar adventurers. I settled on Frederick; the deciding factor was his awesome tusks and clueless face, no lie. I started out the game by doing what any sensible boar would do—dig for a minute before I slapping my face repeatedly on rocks and grass. This went on until the grass exploded beneath me, causing a long fall that gave the first clue to the actual game’s size.
Once I regained control of Frederick, the game led me through a simple and painless tutorial to maximize the effectiveness of my boar-ing skills. I ended up in a rocket back to the surface (don’t ask) that led straight into the vault of another large boar, Gullinbursti, which introduced an unexpected story element to the game. I was caught red-hooved, having unknowingly stolen a gem.
This leads to an early twist—you are now a miner for Full Bore Mining Co. This inevitably leads to more boring around the mines full of digging, smashing, and other boar stuff. If you dig too much and find yourself stuck in a location, the game has a fantastic do-over mechanic—you can either rewind action by action to return to a precise moment in time, or flash back completely to the beginning of an event. This is especially useful in areas where going “full bore” is actually detrimental. In fact, much of my early gameplay was spent rewinding and carefully leaving areas undamaged so that I could use them to get to extra treasure.
Early on you receive a map from another helpful boar, and you’ll definitely need it. I found myself immediately lost due to very progressing too quickly from section to section in the mines without fully exploring. The map, however, provides clear direction as to what exits to take to get back to your destination. It wasn’t until after I had explored a number of different sections of the mine that the actual scope of the game hit me, even more so than the initial fall. The world of Fill Bore is significantly larger than the game let on at the outset, and worth the time to explore it.
This game isn’t complete just yet, but I had fun playing through what I had and exploring at my own pace. The catchy soundtrack and pixel art style made manipulating blocks and digging around more interesting. I’m excited to play more when we have full access later on.