GAME NAME: Box Boy!
DEVELOPER(S): HAL Laboratory
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): April 2nd, 2015
To start out, Box Boy! on the Nintendo 3DS appears quite simple. That’s not to say that the game isn’t well designed or challenging. It is from HAL Laboratory and Nintendo after all, which is a little surprising as it’s more of an indie game as opposed to your typical top tier retail game that you’d expect from them. I’m not saying that as a bad thing as I think that helps to expand their audience. You are as the title suggests a boy, who is a box. Go figure, right? But what you can do as this simple box is what makes the game so intriguing. You are able to replicate yourself in order to get into tight spaces, around corners, activate switches and numerous other actions. At first the game does seem a little on the simple side as you go through the first few levels/stages but it does get more difficult the further you progress in the game. Basically the object of the game is to collect crowns within each stage.
The task you are presented sounds easy enough, go from the beginning of the stage to the end and collect the crowns. This is where I found a little surprise! Yes. It’s trivial enough to collect the crowns, there’s only a few in the stage anyway. Here’s where the BUT comes in; if you aren’t fast enough to figure out how to get that crown, guess what? It disappears! POOF! I completed the first few worlds no problem collecting every crown along the way. I then watched a crown disappear from my screen! Personally I find this to be a good sort of low key way to force the player to pick up the pace and it also adds replay value to the game since you have to go back to collect what you missed while you were dilly-dallying around doing whatever it was that you were doing to waste that time in the first place. Now, when I say it adds replay value I don’t mean that there isn’t already a load of content here. With over 20 worlds each separated into stages, there’s no shortage of puzzles to solve or crowns to collect!
As far as controls go, they are more of a traditional layout as opposed to what we’ve sometimes come to expect with some games in regards to the 3DS and touch based controls. Not being overly complex, the controls are definitely easy to learn. Given the puzzle aspect of the game I find that to be more beneficial since you spend less time figuring out the controls and more time playing. I think that using a button based control scheme was the better choice for this game because it may have ended up making it entirely too easy with a touch based control scheme.
Even though I said Box Boy! appears rather simple, that’s what makes it so fun for me. It has sort of a Kirby feel to it, but I wouldn’t go as far to say it plays just like it. The stages are wonderfully designed, especially some of the later ones. It’s got a decent sountrack, a tad repetitive at times it seems, but not to the point that it becomes annoying. It has more of a soothing repetition to it. When it comes to the graphic styling of the game it is about as simple as it can be. High contrast black and white, which to be honest is really about my only only complaint as eventually it began to hurt my head and eyes. Even so, with that being said, it is pretty clean and I didn’t really notice any type of glitches or other oddities that you might experience with more “advanced” graphics such as cut ins or frame rate issues.
Overall I definitely enjoy the game. It’s simple. It’s cute. I think it’s fun. Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. I mean, if you enjoy platforming that’s heavier on the puzzle than than jumping on baddies.