It's not a puzzle why BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! is a stellar puzzle game for the Nintendo Switch.
Puzzle games go hand in hand with portable devices. There's something impressive about loading a puzzle while waiting in the doctor's office, spending time on ads, or just taking a break. I often think I want to roll for a minute or two just to look up and see half an hour. This is that cycle of consumption that keeps me coming back to countless puzzle games on almost every device I have with me on the move. I find a great puzzles game essential to my arsenal of everyday devices.
When Nintendo released BoxBoy! the 3DS in 2015 seemed like a game right in my driveway – I just never got to it. Then the extras went out in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but I still have never taken it, despite the brilliant praise of the critics I believe. Maybe 3DS faded against the backdrop of my regularly used devices, or maybe I was too cheap at college, but I never went into the box world prepared by HAL Laboratories. The third article was released shortly after Switch's start and left a lot, including myself, hoping to see the series jump to the Nintendo's hybrid machine.
It will take several years, but Nintendo decided to prepare the new BoxBoy adventure for Switch and I'm glad I finally got the chance to get off the puzzles I've heard so much about. BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! packed the mind that stole more of my time than I expected. As 3DS enters its last days in portable gaming, it's nice to see that the 3DS series will jump to Switch to continue playing the puzzle in the foreseeable future.
BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! is a space puzzle game that does not look like portal, but on a 2D plane. You play or (you know) BoxBoy named Qbby or BoxGirl named Qucy. These symbols can generate boxes from their square bodies to create platforms and more. You will enter a level with a certain limit in the field by limiting the number of blocks that you can create in a single chain. When you start making a new chain, the old one disappears instantly. Using the blocks you create, you must navigate around the dangers to get to the doors at the end of the level.
Beginning is often the creation of bridges or the covering of dangers to skip your way to victory. The game increases the speed of mechanics, but allows much more creative and surprising ways to use maneuvering blocks in each level. BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! shines through a game design philosophy similar to Super Mario World, which was presented to me by Mark Brown of the Game Maker Toolkit. To summarize the design in Super Mario Worldlevels bring a mechanic, learn the player for it and then all the way to the end of the level where you can catch the flag with the last eruption. Mark does a great job, exploring this in his video, I recommend you check it out.
HAL's laboratories are dealing with this four-tier design and spread it all over the world BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!Take the third world in the game, for example. Box Up the Zappers, the basic concept of this world of six levels is to use your cubes to block electrical currents and safely transmit them. The first level is an introduction to the new concept and the next levels explore and test your abilities. This works within levels of six to eight because BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! levels are much smaller than the level of 3D Mario. When you complete a world, the basic idea of this world is no longer a central focus. Obstacles or mechanics may appear later, but you often need to use new ability or knowledge that is the core of this world for navigation. This keeps the whole game feeling fresh. When the idea begins to be used too much, the game switches things. With 16 worlds to be explored in just one player, I never get bored with a world or its main idea.
Linking all levels together is a simple, clear narrative that has a fair share of charm. Some kind of dark matter begins to fall from the sky, cutting off Box Box members from one another and placing them in a coma caused by dark matter. The only way to wake BoxGirl, Box Children and Qudy is to finish the saints and make the small cuboidal hearts of light go out of darkness. This is a nice story and the heroes finish a nice job, moving on the screen.
Simply reaching the doors at the end of the level is not the only goal in every field. There are two other goals that are always available and which you can take advantage of or ignore. The first is that each level has three bands connected directly to how many blocks you use to get to the end. Save the blocks you use below or the lowest amount and you will be rewarded with a three-tiered band. The other goal is a collector crown or two in each level. Often the crowns are just out of reach and require a different structure or solution to secure the crown and get to the end. These two additional tasks increase the difficulty a lot, giving you as little or little challenge as you want. There were many crowns that I finally left with a solemn promise to come back. Sometimes I had all the crowns, but I used too many blocks. It's a pleasure to achieve on one level, especially on your first lap.
Completing the level and removing the bonus goals provides you with two types of currency: medals and badges. They can be spent in a shop for costumes, disposable electric windows, music and more. A medal can also be spent on a level hint. These tips give you a stopping flash of the decision, but that does not help you grasp the crown. I think this is a fair deal to make the act of completing the achievable level, but winning 100% on a level depends on you. When you complete each level in the world up to 100%, then the level of statistics to unlock this world. They show your clear time, used boxes and crowns collected for each level and world. If you can bring all this, your rank rises, giving you one more goal to continue if you want.
Beyond the tips, the store I mentioned earlier allows for useful calls to help levels. You can spend medals for invincibility, acceleration of speed, extra block and add extra boost to your jump. They must be equipped before starting the level, just like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical freezing, They are not just tools to help a difficult level or to ease the challenge. You can use speed to lower your level to get this next rank, for example. I've never found myself going to electric windows to decide on a level, but they're fun to experiment. The medals and badges accumulate quickly, so I never felt tight about the currency in the store and felt that I could buy what I wanted.
While medals are for buying tips, power-ups, minigames, small comics and music, badges are used only for costumes. I never knew that a box could have so much person in it. There are objects for the head, eyes, mouth and body. You can equip everything with either Qbby or Qucy, even at the same time. Represented by a button machine in the store, you can get some accessory at random for 30 badges. You can not choose, but the badges run quite freely and unlock even more when completing the additional goals at the level. I never worried about how much I had or was to get enough to roll the RNG dice once more. I could just let it run.
In the same spirit as the personal character style, the whole art design of the game gave me enormous results Super Mario vibrations. The game world is fascinating in its simplicity and helps you focus on gameplay rather than on visual pulse. There is one area where I would like to have more visuals. I found myself constantly wanting a network system so I can see how far the blocks are. The background has these horizontal lines, which are the exact height of a block, giving you a nice visual reference for a vertical distance, but there is no such option for measuring a horizontal distance. Sometimes it was frustrating to think that a certain length of blocks was enough to be short. To mitigate this, Qbby / their blocks are appropriated when they are close to skirting boards and objects to help you navigate. However, I would not even consider visual aid.
For all my visual simplicity, I was surprised that the game did not go smoothly all the time. Often I faced with frames and tears in both docking and manual mode. This has never been a break in the game or made me confuse a puzzle / platformer section. This often happens when you walk to a new stretch of level or fall. Nintendo has reached before publishing this review and said today they are releasing a patch that is one day before the public release to optimize the game. At the time of writing this review, I have no idea if this will eliminate these problems or not, but I thought I should mention them.
Fortunately, when I confused, BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! was extremely gracious with his control system. Each level has multiple checkpoints, which always make sense. Maybe it helps the levels to be divided into pieces with a bite size. All you have to do is press the L and R buttons at the same time to get back to the last control point. None of the blocks you may have used during the trial will be counted against the total amount at the end of the level. This allows, even encourages, rapid repetition and experimentation to find just the right layout of the blocks to reach the end. It was an invaluable tool for the whole game.
An entirely new addition to the game is a cooperative mode. There is a full story mode dedicated to the two-player mode, not simply plopping an extra character in the main story. Although, just like in Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, you can play cooperative mode entirely independently by simply switching between Qbby and Qucy on the go by pressing ZL or ZR. This mode is lit when playing with someone else. This is a type of fuse Snipperclips and Portal 2 Coop, forcing you and your partner to create shapes, bridges, and switches to get to the end. I was in the regime with my wife that night and we had a shot to work together to solve the levels. Another pleasure was that the costumes and the currency were carried, which meant she could dress with Qucy, although she wanted (pigtails and blush, lipstick was too much).
In true fashion advertising Nintendo announces "but wait, there is more!" At the end of a single player's story. After clearing all 16 worlds, a third campaign opens with the rectangular character of Qudy, which occupies a central place. Although it is not in itself due to its uneven sides, Cudi gives one final spin of the puzzles, standing vertically or horizontally. This means that he can make really tall and broad structures. This almost resembles the pressing of your world's brain reset button. You will have to put yourself in tight spaces in new ways and that's a pretty journey. This is a great incentive to keep playing.
When it hurts BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! this is a spacious puzzle game which is a great way to pass the time. What elevates it from good to great is how HAL laboratories took design disciplines from so many other excellent games. This cross pollination has helped shape the new adventure of Qbby in a game that must have a puzzle for Switch. From three campaigns to pursuit of badges, there is a surprisingly heavy amount of head-scratched puzzles that will endure your weight. Whether you just kill time or want to skip some puzzles with a friend, BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! is a puzzle game that you should not miss.