Not Fully Bored, at least.
I think it was Braid that started the pixel art inspired puzzle platformers movement.
It felt new at the time, and given the nature of the market and lack of titles in the genre, it enjoyed quite the success.
Many years later, I feel this is a genre that has become oversaturated, and a new entry to it must be quite exceptional to turn some heads.
Unfortunately, while Full Bore is a perfectly functional and respectable puzzle platformer, it just doesn’t have enough going for it to merit a look for those who are burnt out on the genre.
Platforms: PC Exclusive.
Demo Availability: N/A.
Length: 6-8 hours (according to developer).
The main crux of Full Bore revolves around digging, pushing and stomping.
Not quite what I think of when “boar” comes to mind but what the hell do I know about boars, anyway?
The layout of the levels is massive, and it’s quite a nonlinear experience, with only a handful of puzzles and quests that must be completed to progress the story.
In fact, most of the time within the game will be spent exploring various side areas for gems to collect.
While the move-set of our tusked hero is quite limited, the puzzles become quite devious in the level of complexity and amount of planning required to solve them.
Luckily, the players are afforded the ability to turn back time, so they can take back a few moves or start back at a checkpoint if they’ve managed to FUBAR everything to the point it becomes unsolvable.
It’s quick to do and a nice solution to curve some of the frustration that comes from digging up the wrong dirt pile or pushing a block one too many times and royally screwing yourself over.
The soundtrack is blues inspired and quite charming, and given they could’ve just phoned it in with a standard chiptune arrangement, it was quite an enjoyable surprise.
Unfortunately, many of its strengths are double edged and, serve to facilitate some of its greatest flaws.
The open ended nature of the level designs had me wandering around aimlessly, and even when I would solve a little puzzle to grab a gem, I felt very little satisfaction, as collecting the gems didn’t do anything.
There was no indicator for how many were to be found in an area for the sake of completion, and I couldn’t use the gems to buy or do anything for that matter.
Why would I go around doing these puzzles in a seemingly endless cycle without any distinct feeling of progress? Because they’re shiny? Hell, they’re not even that shiny!
If the experience was more focused and worked from a level by level progression, it could have helped with the pacing and made me feel a sense of accomplishment as I continued on, but that was nowhere to be found.
There was a section where I was racing an out of control drill to the bottom so the thing didn’t blow everyone up, but while it should’ve served to inject a new thrill in an otherwise uniform experience, it only managed to annoy as it took more attempts than I would care to count to complete.
Lastly, Full Bore(more like “Half Bore”) is currently an incomplete title, as the developers have put out the first half of the game and expect to release the conclusion in the future, so the game ends abruptly as well.
The more I played of Full Bore, the less I wanted to play it.
While there were some creative puzzles sprinkled throughout its massive levels, I never felt like I was making any real progress even as the little numbers next my gems grew.
Collecting things for the sake of collecting them isn’t a very compelling reason, and given there isn’t much more to Full Bore than that, it ends up being a decent incomplete puzzle platformer and not much more.
Fun Tidbit: There are two boars to choose from at the start but I’m not sure if that makes any real difference as I’ve only tried the title with one.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.