Game title: Bye-Bye BoxBoy!
Boxes - 9/10
Puzzles - 8/10
Space Travel - 8.5/10
Goodness gracious Bye-Bye BoxBoy!
I can’t remember when I’ve had as much of a good time with a handheld game. The last week has been a fever dream of puzzles and boxes. I’ve been living, breathing and dreaming about Qbby. And can I just take a moment to stop and appreciate how adorable both his name and he himself are?
On the surface, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! looks like something slapped together in MS Paint on your lunch break. A very simple, monochrome aesthetic makes Bye-Bye BoxBoy! — like it’s predecessors — look a little cheap. Don’t be fooled and don’t be turned off.
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is worth every cent.
Qbby is adorable. I’ve said this twice now, but he really, really is. The amount of expression Hal Laboratory is able to wring from a box with two eyes is nothing short of impressive. When you throw in Qbabies that need escorting through levels, it’s a veritable ‘squee-fest.’
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! sees Qbby aboard a spaceship, setting out to free four planets from evil black goop. I wonder what the best way to do this is…? Solving puzzles of course!
The same great gameplay from the prequels is back. For those unfamiliar with BoxBoy!, let’s give you a quick run-down. In each level, Qbby is tasked with getting through a collection of obstacles. To do so, he needs to create boxes which can be climbed on, used as ladders, bombs, rockets and more. Each level has a limit to the number of boxes created at one time and a total box limit.
Never mind if you go over the total limit. You can still finish the level, you just can’t collect the crown. Collecting the crowns rewards you with in-game currency to spend on challenge maps, costumes, comics and sound effects.
The puzzles are simple, in theory and devious in design. Things begin simply enough and the tutorials hold your hand. At least initially. After a short time though, you’ll have learned most of Qbby’s abilities and will be let loose. Levels get progressively more difficult, but never frustrating.
There were at least a dozen or more times that I was absolutely stuck on a puzzle. The answer just would not come to me. When this happened, I’d put my 3DS to one side and come back later. Usually, the solution would jump out and me and I’d proceed. When you get stuck (and you will) you’ll feel the same way I did. Proud at first for completing the puzzle, swiftly followed by a feeling of stupidity at how long it took.
Bombs and Rockets
Two new boxes added in Bye-Bye BoxBoy! are the rocket box and bomb box. Each one is showcased in its very own world which is comprised of multiple levels. These boxes are self explanatory, but just in case, let’s give it a whirl.
The bomb box is used to blow up parts of the level to create new paths. The rocket box will shoot up into the air when created. Both new boxes opens up new ways to confound the player. Like with all the other boxes and puzzles though, neither new box is too difficult.
It’s a real testament to the design team at Hal Laboratory that Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is so accessible, so clever and so difficult at the same time. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is the best kind of challenge; one you refuse to let beat you. It’s a game to be beaten and a test to be aced.
The Best Kind of Portable Fun
Think of the best kind of mobile games. The ones you love playing on your smartphone. That’s what Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is like, but it’s better. It’s got that Nintendo quality that you only get from the best. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! takes a simple concept and makes it something special.
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is a game for puzzle fans, platformer fans, Nintendo fans and just general videogame fans. It’s the perfect cross-genre title and casts a wide net for players. It is possible to blow through it rather quickly, which is a bit of a shame. Once you’re finished you’ll wish it was a little longer. You’ll also not be able to play it again until you’ve forgotten all the solutions.
The visuals won’t appeal to everyone either. Where some players see charming, other see cheap. Where some see different, others see crap. It’s going to be down to your preference, but if you’re not fussed by how it looks you’ll find that it plays wonderfully.
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is one of the best 3DS games I’ve played in ages. It will be the same for you too.
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! was reviewed on Nintendo 3DS using a digital promo code provided to PowerUp! by Nintendo.