System: 3DS (eShop)
Release date: 06/30/2016
The main game/story
Taking place shortly after the events of the previous game, Qbby is back for some more puzzle solving action, this time using the concept that the final two bonus words of the original game had, which was the ability to place two sets of boxes at once. Like in the predecessor, the story is minimal and the only text you’ll find outside of the world titles and shop contents are in the credits.
When comparing these visuals to the original game, they pretty much go for the exact same art style, with every major hazard, enemy or obstacle looking the exact same as the original title. However, your blocks now have a bit of color to them this time around, helping to distinguish between the two separate sets. There’s even a fancier hubworld with platforms and a more compact feel, compared to the boring long stretch that was BoxBoy’s hubworld.
Music and Sound
Sadly, while the visuals managed to feel fresh despite the art style remaining the same, the music hasn’t changed much at all. In fact, there’s barely any new music to speak of, with the majority of the level themes being taken directly from the first BoxBoy title.
Just like in BoxBoy, the main objective of each stage is to go to the end goal in each stage, using your limited numbers of boxes to pull, move, and push Qbby away from hazards or obstacles, while also trying to get the hidden crowns in each stage. The only difference this time around is the addition of the extra set of blocks, allowing for more complex puzzles. However, if you made it to the final two bonus worlds of the original BoxBoy, then you’ve already seen everything that BoxBoxBoy claims is “new”, as the extra pair was actually apart of the original in those two worlds.
Of course, recycling an idea from a previous entry isn’t really a bad idea. After all, plenty of sequels use that idea while adding in some new ideas to make the game feel fresh and exciting, which is where BoxBoxBoy disappointed me. Literally every single hazard and gimmick is from the original title, with no brand new concepts that take advantage of your extra set. Sure, the game does go for a quality over quantity feel, with the developers using these existing gimmicks and making them better, but the lack of something truly new and special makes the game feel like a level pack more than anything else.
Some other disappointing changes from the original include the complete lack of the Score Attack and Time Attack stages from the original BoxBoy, and the lack of any new “Special Costumes,” such as the Bunny, Wizard, and Ninja costumes from the original. Thankfully in the case of the latter, you can still use those costumes if you gained them in the original title and have a save file for it on the same SD card, but the lack of any new crazy ideas for costumes is a bit disappointing, with all the new costumes being simple appearance changes.
In conclusion, there really isn’t much I can say about BOXBOXBOY that I haven’t said about the original BOXBOY, because they are pretty much the exact same game, just with an underutilized concept being more apparent this time around. Depressingly, the lack of any new concepts or gimmicks really hurt the game in the long run, and I couldn’t help but wonder why this wasn’t a simple DLC update for the original title. Both titles are the same price, and you do benefit a little from owning the original game before this one, but if you were hoping for fresh concepts or more creative levels, then you won’t really find that in this entry. Hopefully BoxBoy doesn’t become the next Picross e, where installments are constantly released with minimal changes. If you liked the original entry, then this game will be right up your alley, but if you’re like me and hoped for something a bit more special, then you should probably stick to the first installment unless you are craving for more levels. I give BOXBOXBOY! a 6 out of 10.