Developer: HAL Laboratory
US Release: April 12, 2017
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
MSRP: $4.99 via Nintendo eShop
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is the third and final installment in the BoxBoy! puzzle platformer trilogy where players can control a square-shaped character named Qbby who creates connected boxes to overcome various obstacles. The first BoxBoy! game was released in 2015 and the sequel, BoxBoxBoy!, was released in 2016. This time, Qbby and his team travel to distant planets in the Box Ship to destroy black clouds of smoke and save the Qbabies.
The BoxBoy! series itself bears a close resemblance to a graphing calculator game released in the late 90’s called Block Dude. Although Block Dude allows players to control a stick figure instead of a walking box with eyes, both are recognized as monochromatic puzzle games relying on the manipulation of boxes. Each game is easy to play and can quickly become addicting, making them both excellent ways to pass the time or goof off in math class (although only one is easy to get away with).
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! maintains the simplistic charm of the BoxBoy! series, even with the splashes of color that characterize each planet. Black, white and gray geometric shapes provide a zen-like backdrop while plain menu text and minimal accents allow the puzzles to dominate. With light and airy tones setting the mood of each world, gameplay is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Sharing memorable levels and challenges is also easier now with a new in-game camera button.
Just like the previous titles in the series, playful costumes and comics are available to unlock in the mini shop as well as music and challenges. Amiibo characters can also be used to further customize Qbby’s costumes. Using the new Game Boy theme creates a satisfying vintage feel as this is exactly the type of game you can imagine being released on the classic handheld console. The game’s beeps and boops are very reminiscent of the Game Boy’s 8-bit sounds. Short cinematics that guide the storyline are entertaining, although the plot remains a little fuzzy by the end.
Boxrockets, bomboxes, warpboxes, and remoteboxes are all delightfully inventive powers new to this release. They’re fun to use and experiment with, but are utilized much too sparingly. Qbabies are also a great addition, yet are only present in a handful of levels. The creation of challenge levels where new powers and Qbabies could be more fully explored or expanding the usage of them in the main levels would’ve greatly enhanced the game’s replay value. New box powers and the addition of Qbabies are what set this title apart from the rest of the trilogy and they deserve much more attention.
This final adventure in the BoxBoy! series is yet another unique puzzle platformer whose simple and creative design allows for playability that is worth far more than the $4.99 price the game sells for. It’s easy enough to play casually and offers a bit of challenge even for some more seasoned puzzle fans. Find out more about the game from the official webpage or download the free demo in the Nintendo eShop and try all three BoxBoy! games at once.
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