Friday, May 8, 2015

Boxboy! (3DS eShop) Review

Boxboy! kicks off SuperPhillip Central's month of Nintendo 3DS review in style. Nothing like a greatly reviewed game to start things off. There will be even more Nintendo 3DS games reviewed this month, both digital and retail, so I hope you'll look forward to them. For now, take a peek at HAL Laboratory's latest, Boxboy!

It's hip to be square.

From the developer behind Kirby comes Boxboy, another in the line of creative titles from HAL Laboratory. Although the game appears simple in concept-- you play as a box name Qbby, able to extend boxes of the same size from his own body to solve puzzles and reach otherwise inaccessible platforms-- Boxboy quickly turns the complexity dial up to 11 in a rather fast fashion.

Things start out simple enough, but Boxboy
can get mighty challenging in its level design!
As stated, Qbby's most pronounced ability in Boxboy is the power to create a chain of boxes from his body that can be situated to solve puzzles. One of the early uses of Qbby's abilities is to spawn three boxes resembling a staircases so he can reach a higher platform. Another has him creating an amount of boxes in the shape of a hook to hang off of another higher platform. With a press of the Y button, Qbby can contact the chain of boxes, allowing him access to the platform where the box that served as the "hook" once was.

Qbby can unlatch himself from the box chains he makes.
It's paramount to do for this particular situation.
The catch with summoning boxes is that each level has a set amount of boxes that can be summoned at one time, and each time Qbby extends a series of boxes, the last series of boxes disappears. Getting crowns in levels, collectibles that when all are collected in a level give the player a "perfect clear" rating, means that Qbby can only use a set amount of boxes total before the the crown(s) disappear.

On many occasions, boxes spawned by Qbby can
be used a protection against harmful hazards.
Beating a level earns the player credits that can be spent on time and score attack challenges, new costumes for Qbby (each with their own impressive amounts of animations), and even tips and tricks for different level mechanics within the game.

Each of Boxboy's worlds houses a specific set of themed challenges. Some deal with buttons that open and close doors when force is pressed on them that Qbby must place boxes on to hold them down. Others deal with conveyor belts, electrically charged blocks, gravity, and many more. The great thing about Boxboy and how it handles new twists and mechanics is that the game eases you into each new level gimmick. You're rarely unsure of how to go about solving a given section of level because the game did not prepare you for its challenge. Perhaps the only negative concerning the level design and new twists introduced to players is that many of the mechanics in Boxboy only show up in a handful of levels (aka one world) before the game moves on to a new mechanic.

Hold down this button with one of Qbby's boxes to
make this dark trio of squares appear for Qbby to walk on.
Levels in Boxboy feature plenty of checkpoints, so failure is seldom truly punishing. It definitely is never frustrating. No, when Qbby fails by getting stuck or taking damage, he starts at a checkpoint, which is always at the start of a new puzzling section of a level. Players can also press the shoulder buttons of the Nintendo 3DS to manually restart from a checkpoint if they get stuck.

If for some reason a section of level is something a player can't wrap his or her head around, the option of getting a hint is available through spending one of the Nintendo 3DS system's Play Coins. A quick picture of the location and amalgamation of boxes needed to progress in the level is shown, meaning that as long as a player has enough Play Coins, they can ask for a hint if they cannot come up with the proper solution on their own.

Much like Pushmo, Boxboy is yet another excellent Nintendo 3DS eShop entry from HAL Laboratory, showing that the developer still has plenty of creative bones in its collective body. Containing clever puzzle design, an innovative concept, and a creative and helpful hint system to allow for any and all players to beat its many levels, Boxboy is a fantastic offering that shows that it's truly hip to be square through its four hour plus playtime and affordable price.

[SPC Says: A]

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