Have you ever found yourself playing a Legend of Zelda game thinking: "It's nice to save Hyrule and all, but why aren't there more box puzzles?" Perhaps you're on one of Ms. Croft's tomb raiding adventures but instead of looking forward to your next artifact, you're looking forward to the next room full of crates. If so, Boxxle has you covered.
Boxxle is a game about pushing boxes. No really. That's the game. The very thin premise is that a young man (you aren't told his name, but I've decided to call him Bobby Boxpush) is working in warehouse to earn money for a present for his girlfriend.
This is a Gameboy game from 1989 so you can't expect too much which is good because there isn't much here. On the small puzzles the graphics are on par with other games of the era, not exciting but certainly serviceable. However, the long view on the large puzzles looks like it was ported from a particularly advanced atari game.
Controls are intuitive and responsive. You push the boxes with the Dpad. The start button allows you to restart, or select a new level. You only use the buttons to put in passwords in the main game and select and place pieces in create mode. Nothing really of note here.
There isn't a lot of sound happening. There's a few menu selection sounds and when you complete a level, Mr. Boxpush let's out a surprisingly realistic (for the time) "Yeah!". The music is the same repetitive track in every level or at least in every level I played (37 of them). At first is seems like standard uninspired video game fare, but the longer you listen to it the more it seems like some sort of awful torture. There's a few other melodies such as in the "interludes" and when you pause, but overall Boxxle is best played with some other sort of music going on. I don't care if it's Garth Brooks, or Kenny G, or Lil' Wayne or The London cast recording of Cats, anything and everything is going to be better than what the game gives you.
As I mentioned previously, boxxle is a game about pushing boxes. Instead of a great treasure, a piece of heart, a new
weapon or any of the other good stuff normal games give you for completing a
box puzzle, here you just get more box puzzles, 250 of them to be exact spread across 25 levels of 10 stages each.
Once you're in a stage you're presented with various boxes that need to be pushed, not pulled, into place.
You can tell where they should go via dots on the floor and once a box is over one of the dots it turns dark. As you would expect, it starts off simple and becomes increasingly harder as the game progresses. The game counts each step you make and displays the number of steps under the stage number and it seems to count for absolutely nothing, but hey there's always the self satisfaction of knowing you did it in a smaller amount of steps than all your Boxxle playing friends!
Even for a box puzzle veteran such as myself some of them were pretty taxing and required a several restarts. There is a surprising amount of problem solving and critical thinking involved with rearranging boxes. Luckily, there's a convenient feature that, if a particular puzzle is making you console-throwingly angry the menu allows you to select a new one within the same level. You can't move on until you've completed all the stages in one level, but sometimes a little break is all you need. If that's not enough though, there's a password feature so you can turn the Gameboy off, put the madness of boxes behind you an run over people in GTA or something.
If you get bored with the 250 pre-made puzzles you can make several
of your own custom creations. You get the same materials as the standard
puzzles, Bricks for walls, dots for placement, and of course boxes. The
only thing to watch out for is that the game will let you create and
attempt to play impossible puzzles so you'll need to really consider
your placement choices.
So that's it, go into a level, push some boxes. Complete the level, move into a new level and push some boxes. If you get bored with that make a level, push some boxes.
As a Puzzle game/brain teaser game, Boxxle can hold it's own. It'll never be one of the greats but it's playable and it gets you thinking. I like box puzzles and it still got boring for me eventually, but I did do 37 of them in one sitting so it took awhile. As a bonus it's also training for almost every other video game ever. Overall, Boxxle is a pretty average game, but if you want a puzzle game that's not a Tetris or Bust a Move clone, give some boxes a push. It earns a perfectly middle of the road 2.5 Octopi.
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