For some reason I've never payed much attention to the Boxboy series. Here it is in its fourth entry, and I've just now decided to give it ago. It's weird, because I do like HAL as a publisher. And I can't lie - I sometimes dream that I'll stumble upon that super cute and super expensive Boxboy amiibo in someone's garage sale. But for whatever reason I've just never been too interested in checking these games out.
But alas, I was still sitting on some Amazon giftcard credit from Christmas, and not really sure what I was in the mood for playing (between my usual binges of Overwatch) and having just thumbed through a back issue of Nintendo Force, decided that the glowing review of Boxboy + Boxgirl was just glowing enough for me to spend $10 of said Amazon credit.
So how is it? So far, so good. I mean, my impressions aren't nearly as through the roof as Nintendo Force's. They gave the game a 9.5 out of 10. Side note, if you're going to use decimals, why not just make it a scale of 100? We can all do the math right? This a 95%. Anyway. Sorry. I'm pedantic sometimes.
It's a HAL game, which means it's going to be charming and adorable. Of course. Boxboy is of course a little box with legs and he platforms around and has to do some puzzle solving to get to the exit of each level. He can generate new boxes. There's a limit to how many per level. Meaning, in some levels the limit is three, which means he can make three connected boxes at a time. If he tries to make another set the original set disappears. It's simple enough that you get it right away, which is good.
I played for an hour or so and made it to the fifth world if I recall. Each world has its own little gimmick. None of the worlds have enemies, but there are new obstacles. So one set of worlds has electric spark things you can't touch; one has springs that send you flying; one has barriers that need to be opened by hitting switches; and so on. They're all crafted nicely enough, but it's not exactly brain-crushing. I've pretty much coasted through no problem so far.
Of course the puzzles are the metric to judge puzzle games. On that front, this seems fairly easy so far. Which is fine. It's a chill game, and more of a pallet cleanser for me right now. I think it's fun and cute, but I don't see myself running out to pick up the older 3DS titles right away or anything.
There are things to collect in each stage. There's crowns that you can trade in for new cosmetics. I got "sleepy eyes" on my first attempt and just kept that. I don't care enough about cosmetics in a game like this to care. So now I'm not even really going out of my way to grab the crowns. You also earn stars based on how well you performed. IE: There's sort of a par for how many blocks you use in a level. I'm sure completionists love trying to get the best rating on each level, but that's not my style of gaming. I just don't care enough. Getting through each level is satisfying enough for me.
I will say that the true draw here is probably the "+ Boxgirl" part. This is the first game in the series to feature co-op, and it has its own unique campaign. So once I'm done playing through solo, I can totally see this being a game that my wife would enjoy playing with me. So there's that.
I've been playing this on and off between things, and it's weird. I don't really like it. But I keep playing it. I think that ultimately it feels to me like some kind of phone game. Meaning, it's a decent enough time killer but it's not like I'm actually into it. I'm in world 16 or so now, and I keep THINKING that I've beaten the game and then more levels open up. If I was into this game, I'd be happy about that, but I feel like I keep pushing through to feel like I'm done with it. Which isn't a good sign. I might just be done, though. I'm not really having fun. Again, it just feels like a way to kill ten minutes before bed right now.