Full Bore – Preview
Follow Genre: Puzzle, adventure
Developer: Whole Hog Games
Publisher: Whole Hog Games
Platform: PC

Full Bore – Preview

Good: Retro, Reminds me of other classic games
Bad: Music might not be for everyone
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Full Bore is a fun new twist on the recent style of games fashioned after a fun and successful indie game released on the Xbox Live Arcade a few years back known as “Miner Dig Deep”. As a refresher, or for those who are unfamiliar with the game itself, I’ll explain. In “Miner Dig Deep”, you control a miner character that digs through the ground, collecting ore and minerals to bring back to the surface and redeem the ore for cash to upgrade equipment so that you can dig deeper, and deeper, and deeper. You’ll also obtain upgrades useful for helping you get out of otherwise unescapable holes, such as ladders, and upgrades that allow you to break apart harder deposits you couldn’t before(such as chunks of rock impeding your flow through the regular dirt).

full bore

So, Full Bore is a demake-upgrade to the genre. You play as a boar (many puns to follow in your play through of the game) that uses its tusks to dig tunnels through a mine in an attempt to collect gems to pay back a businessman whose product you accidentally stole (oops!). I call it a “demake” only because it is programmed to capitalize on the recent resurgence in retro-style games, and plays very similar to how you would expect a game like this to play on a 16-bit machine of yore. I call it an upgrade, because in addition to the fun, but simple and oft-times repetitive gameplay of digging for upgrades, there are also a lot of puzzle elements added in, as well as “mini-mines” to explore with smaller maps and easier to master objectives.


While the main game feels very much like a standard digging game, the digging game really only serves as an “underworld” map as a way of traversing from one room to the next, similar to the Kid Icarus games found on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy consoles. It is within these mini-mine rooms that you find the bulk of your variety and the meat and charm of this particular game. In these rooms, you will be tasked with finding a certain number of gems. Many of the gems are out in the open with few evident obstacles between you and them. However, looks can be deceiving, and often you will find yourself scrambling around every inch of the landscape trying to navigate your way through mountains of dirt and pushing blocks into just the right spot to reach one little gem that has been eluding you for the last ten minutes. None of the puzzles I ran across were overly difficult-but some did make me take a minute to regroup myself and look at everything from a fresh perspective, which is the perfect level of difficulty for your puzzle to be enjoyable. You never want to play a game in which you’re spending more time trying to figure out how to solve the puzzle then solving the puzzle itself.


The game sports a nice, mellow soundtrack that rides on the back of a laid-back acoustic guitar strum. It is a nice fit for digging through muck and collecting gems, although at times it can get a little droll. Just when it starts becoming a bother, however, you’ll find little variations and flourishes have been thrown in to reset your ears and give your brain a nice break from the same ol’ same ol’.



All in all, there is a lot of charm to be found in “Full Bore”. The simplistic graphics might not be for some, but I feel they are perfect match for the gameplay as is, and is probably one of the best uses of sprite-based graphics in the last couple of years. The main boar you play is mostly without personality, but every other character you talk to in the game provides some kind of humor, anger, or motivation. The guitar music is adequate and catchy for the most part. The puzzles are the perfect level of difficulty, and the ability to explore and discover new mini-mines and the occasional boss fight keep the game fun and exciting. This is a great take on an emerging genre that indie developers are really showing what they’re made of with, and is probably my favorite iteration of a digging game i’ve played so far. There is also plans of a part two, and all of the mechanics you learned and mastered in part one will carry over and be utilized in the second part. Get your digging and puzzle fix without getting any real dirt under your nails, and without needing to replace your broken monitor that your threw against the wall with a frustrated screech.

I’m looking forward to the full release, which is expected in Late April/Early May.

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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Full Bore – Review
    May 15, 2014, 02:35

    […] like you wanted them too. However, the full version seems to have lost some of the polish of the initial preview. Not entirely sure where this issue originated, or if there are any plans to fix things from the […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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