After playing Toki Tori
and Blocks That Matter
I started to think that I dislike such games... but now I realize that Full Bore is simply the first good tile-based puzzler that I've played. And all the competition pales in comparison.
Notice that I didn't use the word "platformer". Well, that's because I associate the word with jumping, action, reflexes, etc. And that's not what Full Bore is about, don't be fooled by the trailers. Sure, there are a few places that require quick action, but you don't need any of the qualities required by typical platformers. The stop time+rewind feature mitigates this even more. Oh, and... you actually can't jump
Full Bore is quite a pure puzzle game. Everything, including the character, is always aligned to the tile grid. And the puzzles... they are extremely well designed and all very different. It's just hard to imagine how someone could come up with such a variety of puzzles, while keeping the set of concepts limited and so elegant.
To be clear here, Full Bore is a difficult game, but never too difficult. To me the difficulty always seemed just perfect. Every puzzle felt rewarding. And I never got stuck for too long (taking a break always helped).
About the open world thing... The world map is a lot like the one you see in FEZ
. But all the rooms also have "thumbnails", and connections between them are shown very clearly. Rooms where there is nothing left to do are indicated as well. A portal system prevents travel from being tedious.
And since I started this whole FEZ topic... It is clear that some inspiration is drawn from it, and yes, there are secrets
in Full Bore. But finding them, and eventually completing the game 100% is something actually doable. Without guides, that is. All the secrets have good hints for them, and there definitely are no obscure and outright impossible to find secrets (unlike in FEZ).
Full Bore can easily give you 25 hours of gameplay (this is about the minimal time that you need to explore everything, if you don't look up solutions, of course). Since I knew right away that I was going for full completion, I don't really know how much time it would take to just complete the story, while mostly ignoring optional tasks. Maybe 5 hours, maybe 10. There is even a "preliminary" ending that may let you consider the game completed, if you so choose.
What is also very nice, you can never lock yourself out of something; no location, secret, ending or achievement is missable (well, to be honest, one achievement does explicitly require a separate playthrough, but don't concern yourself with this). Explore freely without worry.
Controls are simple. Redefinable. No problems with them.
Soundtrack is great.
Graphics are immaculate.
Full Bore deserves so much more love than it gets. Really is a hidden gem