I’ve been playing BoxBoy! (3DS, 2015) in little hunks for the last month. It’s a $5 digital only title develped by HAL Labratory of Super Smash Brothers fame. The game showed up on my radar when it’s sequel “Bye Bye BoxBoy” was announced earlier this year. While covering it several of the gaming podcasts I listen to went out of their way to sing the original’s praises, so I decided to give it a go.

The concept is novel. You’re platforming as a little box that can generate and manipulate other little boxes. The idea is to use those boxes to avoid hazards and reach the end of each stage. As an extra challenge, there are rewards for getting to hard to reach locations, or using a particularly few numbers of boxes. This core mechanic is inventive and very enjoyable.

A short video clip of gameplay

The game is split into 17 different worlds that share puzzle mechanic themes. Each mechanic is interesting and challenging in it’s own right, and you feel clever after solving puzzles with them. Sometimes the mechanics layer on top of each other in fun ways, though this isn’t as frequent as I would have liked.

BoxBoy! exudses charm, and does so very much artistically with so very little. The environments are simple but fullly considered, aestheticaly pleasing and occasional use of particle effects or other visual tricks are gorgeous. The music is simple as well, but is friendly, welcoming, and rememborable - far above par for a eShop game.

Time flew playing this game – I thought for sure I’d played for 3-4 hours, but the gameplay log on my 3DS says I played for just about 6.

A 3DS on the game end screen

BoxBoy! is the bite sized game that every mobile title wishes it was. If you are into puzzles and like to jump into a game for just a few minutes at a time this title is a must. A+

· gaming