Kickstarter Project Full Bore Combines Metroidvania and Mining

If boars were more intelligent, they’d probably be miners. That’s what I learned from the demo of Full Bore, a Kickstarter project that’s all about a mining boar who’s basically an indentured servant, after he crashes a rocket into the office of the Full Bore mining company’s CEO.

Okay, still with me? You play a boar in this side-scrolling, 2-D, pixel-art game, with the ability to dig sideways, up and down. After the bit with the rocket — which is underground, weirdly — you wind up adventuring through the Full Bore company’s many mines, in search of gems that will buy you out of the debt you created by crashing said rocket into said office. The goal is to search through many a different mining area, solving block puzzles: Digging through blocks eliminates them, which can cause blocks above to fall, cause you to lose the ability to climb, and more.

Full Bore is actually a pretty simple title, to its credit, and it’s literally brimming with puzzles. Even just getting around is a puzzle, because as soon as you descend into the mine, you’ll have no real idea where to go. Other boars occasionally give you information or hints, but mostly, you’re just looking for doorways and heading through them in hopes of solving the areas.

And there are a lot of things to solve. It seems that every “level” has five gems, so every time you pass through a door into a new area, you’ll likely have a few things to search for. You can climb up on any block in front of you, but only one block high, which means you’ll have to carefully plan your digging and maneuvers to keep going forward. Of course, there are some materials through which you can’t pass, either, so not only do you have to avoid destroying your own path, you’ll need to work to not get stymied by the materials of the mine around you.

Fortunately, there are other elements that can help. Some blocks, rather than being destroyed when you press against them, can be pushed. Some puzzles include anchored laser cannons, and if you push the ammo crate into contact with the cannon, it can clear a space in front of it. One puzzle has a series of cannons, and ammo crates, and requires players to figure out which cannon to power in order to bounce the beam around a closed area and free a number of gems.

Full Bore’s real draw is that its puzzles are many, and they seem pretty well logic-driven. Every time you enter a new room or approach an obstacle, you can start to see how you might get around it. Many areas also include teleporters, spots from which you can restart should you screw something up that reset the blocks you destroyed after you touched the teleporter. But the puzzles are still tough, requiring some planning, and often some restarting to boot.

Full Bore’s Kickstarter campaign is currently in its early stages, with about 70 backers as of this writing, and a little more than $4,000 of the $12,500 goal raised. There’s still some 25 days left to go, however, and the good news is, you can try the Full Bore demo for free: hit this link to download it.

If you like the demo, the Kickstarter campaign can be found right here.

Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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