Box Box! Who’s there? A Boy! A Boy Who? A BOXBOXBOY!
As games get bigger budgets and production costs skyrocket, there is no doubt expectations for certain experiences can sometimes get over hyped. Yet solid game mechanics and ideas can go a long way, as well as simply presentation. Nintendo in a sense is no stranger to this, where as their games exhume a level of fun and excitement even today. Not always the best looking or most in depth graphical effects, Nintendo knows how to use their charm and style, and it’s here in spades.
A penny for your blocks
Players that never had a chance to experience Box Boy simply need to know the following: controlling a small little box in a mono black and white world, it was about platforming, progression, and solving puzzles using a box. Same premise is here, though much like the title gives hint to, now players can use two boxes. It’s a rather simple idea but it can surprising push players to get rather stumped. Each level offers different mechanics, and just when players might grow tired, something new is added into the mix.
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
How long to beat: 3+ hours
It can cause some mind numbing moments, especially as creating a third set of blocks nullifies the first set, since there can only be two groups of boxes per level. Add in switches that have to be pushed in order to open a gate, while also offering a bridge to cross prior and the picture can become a little clearer. It might sound a bit harder than it really is, but usually a bit of time and thought will go a long way.
The most fascinating element for me was this combination of minor platforming and almost Tetris like way of thinking. How players shape the boxes and use them in the environment, from an L like shape to straight up, had more ways of being useful then I ever imagined. Having to use the two instances of blocks in tandem or one right after the other, gave way to some interesting ways to progress.
Add in the different elements that try to impede players, and once again, it might take a few moments each level to figure out just how to progress. The only downside of BoxBoxBoy is, like many puzzle games, especially ones that lack a great or interesting story, once the puzzles are solved, the solution is known, which makes the replay value significantly low. There are crown collectibles for each level, which offers some incentive with harder solutions, granted if players get it on the first go around, that nullifies a replay.
A box of blocks
I never had a chance to check out the first title, but had heard a lot about it. With getting the chance to review the sequel, I was coming in completely fresh, so I can’t speak for how this feels in comparison. What I can say is, for the price and content of quality, if the puzzle genre is player’s forte, this is a no brainer. BoxBoxBoy is charming, easy to get into, and quality over quantity. It’s not the longest game, nor the hardest game, but it has a heart and should have a spot in most player’s digital library.
My favorite moment: Using blocks to your advantage is the name of the game, but the various ways that would surprise me just how to use them in relation to the puzzles got me again and again.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.