BOXBOY! (3DS eShop)- Review

Originally published April 25th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums


Title: BOXBOY!

System: 3DS (eShop)

Price: $4.99

Release date: 4/2/2015

The main game/story

In this puzzle game, you take control of a block with eyes named Qbby, (Pronounced “Cube-e”) as you set out to… Well, that’s the thing, this game doesn’t really have any story to it whatsoever. You do see some bits of story off and on after you complete a few worlds here and there, but for the most part there’s not much to say about the story. The primary appeal of Boxboy is to simply make it to the end of each stage using Qbby’s ability to create blocks, and that’s about it.


Graphics

Boxboy stands out from other retro-inspired games thanks to its simple monochromatic theme. No pixels, no sprites, just simple lines. The only colors you’ll see in this game are black and white, which fit quite nicely thanks to the clever level design.


Music and Sound:

Similar to the story, there’s not much to say about Boxboy’s music. Most of the time it’s barely even noticeable, due to it mostly consisting of quiet, simple melodies that sound an awful lot like elevator music. However, the music that plays in the extra Time Attack levels is very catchy and keeps you on your toes, though it’s a shame that’s the only memorable track in the game.

Gameplay

Boxboy is a rather simple puzzle game where the objective is to reach the end of each stage while avoiding pits, spikes and other hazards. Qbby is only capable of jumping and creating a certain amount of blocks to make into platforms or pull him across gaps, so don’t expect him to do much else besides that. Luckily this leads to many clever concepts throughout the many worlds, from conveyor belts, tricky switches, moving platforms and other cool ideas.

Unfortunately the main problem with this game is that at first, it’s incredibly easy. Most of the time the solution is extremely simple, with not much extra effort required to get the crowns (Bonus items similar to the coins in Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move) in each level. Therefore, for the first hour or so, this game is incredibly boring, which is a shame since if you manage to stick with this game it becomes a lot more interesting.

For example, in the fifth world of the game I ran into a tricky situation where I only had a limit of five blocks to create at a time during the entire stage. Getting all of the crowns seemed to be easy at first, until I encountered the second crown of the level. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make a platform that would allow me to grab the crown and also reach the exit, which made me so frustrated to the point I spent a Play Coin on a hint and even went on Miiverse for assistance, only to realize I had to use a tricky technique where I had to push out from the wall in order to grab the crown. That was when I knew the game had only just begun.

It’s “Ah-ha!” moments like those that make Boxboy worthwhile, especially when you get enough diamonds (Given to you at the end of each stage) to buy the extra Score Attack and Time Attack stages. These stages require quick thinking in order to progress and meet the targets for each of them, which can lead to even more satisfaction when you finally complete a stage with a very strict time limit.


Conclusion

Overall, Boxboy is a game that will definitely confuse people during the first hour or so of gameplay. If you’ve had any experience with puzzle games whatsoever, you’ll breeze through the first four worlds without any problems. Starting from the fifth world onward however, you’ll find lots of challenge, clever puzzles, and fantastic level design. With over 20 worlds to complete, lots of extra costumes and bonus stages to unlock, Boxboy also has a lot of content going for it, therefore making it well worth the $5 despite the slow start in the beginning. I give Boxboy a 7 out of 10, and recommend it to any fan of puzzle games wanting a simple experience to play in short bursts.

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