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Bore Blasters screenshot

Bore Blasters review — Your new favourite indie gem

There is nothing boring about Bore Blasters. This wonderful little gem about drilling through the earth to collect loot is one seriously satisfying action game. And quite honestly, pulling ourselves away from playing so we can write about it has been quite a task.

A roguelike of sorts, Bore Blasters’ bite-sized levels will only take you a few minutes to complete. If you complete them. The goal is to reach the bottom and find the large treasure chest waiting for you, although you’ll occasionally have another mission to complete along the way. Maybe you’ll need to destroy so many special blocks, or discover a missing ship.

Pressing R2 will fire your ship’s gun, blasting blocks that stand in your way. Every block is worth some money, and many will contain gems, worth extra. You’ll also come across enemies that need blasting into oblivion before they damage you. If you do die before reaching the end of the level, though, it’s no great shakes: all the money you’ve earned remains yours. And buying upgrades between runs is the key to success here.

Bore Blasters screenshot
Image: 8BitSkull

There are multiple upgrades you can buy, such as improving the power of your gun, reducing the cooldown of your special ability (more on that shortly) or increasing the value of gems. Starting out at just $1000, before long upgrades will cost well into six figures — but you’ll be earning enough on a successful run that meaningful upgrades will still be coming at a reasonable pace.

Related: The best roguelike games on Xbox Game Pass

As you start playing Bore Blasters, you’ll have access to only one character. His special ability is a fast dash, smashing a pathway of blocks standing in his way. It’s super helpful, damaging enemies and helping you move through the level quickly. Charged by smashing normal blocks, you’ll be able to use it frequently — and you’ll certainly want to.

As you progress through the game’s story, however, new characters will become available to you. There’s a female gunnar whose special ability sees a cluster of bombs fly out of her ship, or another one who turns a pathway in front of him into easily-smashable gemstones. They all have their uses, and you’ll undoubtedly find your favourites.

Bore Blasters screenshot
Image: 8BitSkull

Each run through a level also gives you the opportunity to gain a wealth of temporary upgrades. As you collect gems, you’ll fill up a temporary upgrade meter, and each time it’s filled you can select a random upgrade. Maybe you can increase the damage your gun does, or equip yourself with a seismic blast that occurs every few seconds, destroying blocks around you.

With levels being short, sharp affairs, Bore Blasters seriously embodies the joy of the “just one more go” game. When you finish a level, you’ll unlock another, and the further you progress the more challenging they get: expect to have to replay levels multiple times before you’re successful, with your aim being earning enough money to buy valuable upgrades in the meantime. But you’ll want to. Even if you’re jumping into the same level time after time, there’s something seriously satisfying about blasting your way through blocks, seeing how far you can get.

A true hidden gem, Bore Blasters has all the ingredients of an indie classic in the making. The gameplay loop here is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying that we’ve had the pleasure to play, and each new upgrade really does feel like an achievement. Simply put, we can’t get enough of Bore Blasters: we’re going to be returning to it time and time again. And each time, we won’t be able to pull ourselves away.

Bore Blasters review – Gamespew’s score

This review of Bore Blasters has been facilitated by a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC.

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