It’s a boy who’s a box! BoxBoxBoy is a puzzle-platformer released for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Released in 2016, it’s the sequel to 2015’s BoxBoy. Starring the character, Qbby, you move boxes to solve puzzles. Coming immediately off the ending of the first game, Qbby is transported to a new location and must awaken his friends!
BoxBoy allows you to create boxes to cross gaps, block lasers, and push button switches. The gameplay revolves around evolving level design concepts, which gradually get more difficult. It features a minimalistic presentation.
Similar to a Super Mario game, it’s less about how your own abilities develop. Rather, the world around you continuously evolves. You’ll encounter moving spike enemies, conveyor belts, sticky walls, pitfalls, and more. This forces the player to adapt to new environments and perform new actions, some of which you didn’t even know you were capable of doing.
In BoxBoxBoy, you can now create two sets of boxes. Unlike the first, this makes things a little more interesting. You’ll use one set of platforms to climb and another to set up your hook. Or you’ll use two sets to block incoming laser beams. The additional set of boxes opens up a whole new world of possibilities!
As I mentioned in the last segment, BoxBoxBoy presents itself in a minimalistic way. The black and white, simplistic graphics look like something out of an old Game Boy game. HAL Laboratories got its start with Kirby’s Dream Land for the Game Boy. Even with its simple, slower paced chiptunes, the music and sound effects create a world of its own.
Qbby is accompanied by his friends, Qucy and Qudy. Qucy is a female character differentiated with her eyelashes and bow, while Qudy is a tall, rectangular character. While simple little cutscenes happen with these two, they’re otherwise just follow you around the overworld. They’re relevant for the plot, but don’t impact the gameplay at all. However, you can unlock comic strips about them to learn more about the world.
BoxBoxBoy is roughly 12-15 hours long. With 17 worlds to play through, each challenge ends up much different from the last. As you clear these challenges, you can also grab the Crowns in each stage. You’ll have to limit the amount of boxes you want in order to obtain them. But once you do, you will get bonus rewards from the end of each stage.
Use your in-game currency to purchase music, costumes, and even comic strips from the Shop menu! You can dress Qbby in a number of outfits, such as Ninja or Bunny, and listen to music from the game. The comics are short, humorous strips of the daily lives of each character. These are more challenging than the story stages, as you’ll need to clear all stages in one bound and grab all the crowns without running your box limit out.
In addition to all of the game’s worlds, there’s also a Challenge World. This reverse-colored world is similar in design to stages you’ve cleared. However, the Ninja costume speeds you up, while the Bunny costume makes you jump higher.
Finally, any costumes you unlocked from the original BoxBoy will be unlockable as soon as you clear the game’s first world. You can also unlock one final costume if you’ve cleared the game 100%!
For what it’s worth, BoxBoxBoy is more than a fun little diversion. It’s a puzzle-platformer with tons to unlock. If you’ve played Limbo or Braid, you’ll be in familiar territory. If you simply enjoy platformers or puzzlers, you will certainly enjoy this game. Also, the game gets quite challenging later on. However, if you’re stuck, you can use one Play Coin to unravel a hint. It will list the proper positioning of boxes in order to advance. But it will not reveal how to get to the Crown. If you’re still stuck, you can always use a guide. Furthermore, if you’re stuck on a single location, instead of hitting “Retry” on the pause menu, simply hit L+R to repeat the segment. For the record, I’m not very good at this genre. I probably spent 100 play coins, so don’t feel bad about using them.
Despite its minimalistic presentation, I found BoxBoy to be quite an enjoyable game. It’s a charming game with characters that you’ll grow to love. It’s addictive, just long enough, and its level design stays creative all the way to the end. If that sounds like a game you’d like, I can’t recommend it enough. Be sure to check out BoxBoy before moving onto the sequel, though. Most of what I’ve written in the review applies to the first title as well. Also, be sure to check out Nintendo’s website to learn even more about the game!
Thank you for reading our BoxBoxBoy review! Have you played any of the games in the series yet? Let us know in the comments below!