HAL Laboratory is most well known for the Kirby series, but has been creating games for various consoles (especially Nintendo ones) since the 1980s. Obviously a fan of retro style titles, BOXBOY! is a throwback to games of the past. While 8-Bit inspired experiences are popular now days, BOXBOY! actually goes further back than that with it’s visual style. So is BOXBOY! a welcome addition in 2015, or does it belong in the early 80s?
BOXBOY! is a puzzle game with light platforming elements. You play as a Box, and use other boxes to make your way through levels. The amount of boxes you can use per level varies and the way you use the boxes varies as well. Sometimes a box will be a used simply as a platform, while other times you have to use boxes to protect yourself from environmental hazards.
The blocks actually come from inside you. You create the blocks — which is kind of odd, considering you are a block. The amount of blocks you use varies from level to level, with more rewards for using less blocks. There are also crowns to collect in the levels, which will also increase your score, and you will want a high score.
The higher your score is, the more goodies you acquire from the game’s Shop. You can outfit your Box with new costumes (I, of course, chose the rapper persona), Time Trials, and additional Challenges. The game is pretty meaty content-wise without the additional content, so this is a nice touch to extend the life of the game if you find yourself enjoying it.
The game starts out slowly, but quickly manages to ramp up the difficulty of how to get through the current level. If you are ever stuck, there is a handy hint feature that is readily available on the touch screen, which is a nice addition for younger gamers. Seasoned gamers may find themselves using this feature as well, as some of the later levels get rather complex with the puzzles and strategies.
BOXBOY! has a simple visual style, with black lines and white backgrounds, but it suits the mood of the game, although it is a bit too simplistic at times. The soundtrack of the game is pretty catchy, and you can purchase the tunes in the Shop menu if you find yourself really enjoying them.
BOXBOY! is a solid puzzle game with touches of platforming mixed in that puzzle game fans should check out. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel of the genre or leave a lasting impression, but it’s a fun way to tease your brain and enjoy some clever puzzle designs. If you don’t find yourself enjoying puzzle games, BOXBOY! will probably be a pass for you, but for those of us who enjoy a good challenge, BOXBOY! is a worthy addition to your 3DS eShop library.