So, it is finally here, the my final review on games related to my first year anniversary, in this case, I am covering Box Boy + Box Girl for the Nintendo Switch. If you haven’t read Review of Box Boy (3DS), Review: Box Box Boy (3DS), or Review: Bye-Bye Box Boy (3DS), you may want to check them out now, as they cover much of the groundwork of the Box Boy games seen in Box Boy + Box Girl. I have been a fan of the Box Boy series since I first played them, and I will cover all that Box Boy + Box Girl has to offer.
Box Boy + Box Girl is still the same 2D puzzle platformer that its predecessors are. All of the puzzles are solved by having the main character generate boxes to get to the end of a stage. The most notable new feature is that Box Boy + Box Girl has a two player mode. Here you can cooperate with a friend to try and solve more complex puzzles with each other. You do have the option to play alone, even in this mode, but you have to switch between the two characters with the press of a button. (For this review, I didn’t have anyone to play with, so this part of the game was done by myself.) I wouldn’t be surprised if this mode runs smoother with two players, and it is bound to be more satisfying to solve these puzzles by putting each other’s heads together. For a single player, it is still satisfying to solve these puzzles, but in this mode of play, it feels a little clunky switching between characters.
Another interesting twist is that there are some actions that you can learn as the game progresses. Oddly, the hook technique has to be learned before it can be used in this game, unlike the other Box Boy games where this action can be used at any point in the game. The other actions that can be learned include box hopping, slide, and slam actions.
Box hopping allows you to jump when one of your attached boxes is touching the ground. This trick can is most commonly used to jump across spikes when the game gives you few boxes to work with. The slide action allows you to throw boxes horizontally until it hits a wall, allowing you to place boxes much further away. The slam action allows you to hit the boxes into the ground, allowing you to reach switches buried into the ground.
While this game has a fair amount of variety with actions and obstacles, there aren’t too many new obstacles to deal with in this Box Boy game. There are the usual spikes, pits lasers, and moving platforms, but the new obstacles are limited to drills, dirt, springs, zappers, warp zones, and a personal favorite, zero gravity fields. Most of these obstacles are used in isolation of each other, but do come together in neat ways near the end of the game. I only wish the game did this earlier and more frequently throughout the game.
Thankfully, the game does a great job of introducing new ideas to the player. The first time something new is shown, it gives the player a fairly safe place to try out the new obstacle or action. The next few stages then expand on these ideas, and gradually demand higher levels of thinking from the player. This is a great game design principal to use, and keeps the game approachable for new and old players alike.
One of the few things I am critical of in Box Boy games is how they handle the in game shop. Box Boy + Box Girl gives you two types of currency to work with. The standard type of currency, medals, are gained for clearing a stage (and you always get more each time you clear a stage, even by clearing an old stage this time), are used to buy help items, comics, music tracks, and balloon challenge stages. The balloon challenge stages are the most valuable, as they can get you more target medals (the second form of currency), and are another way to enjoy the game, though I found these challenges felt like a diversion, personally. The comics are fun, and the music is there if you feel up for just listening to the game’s soundtrack, and while the help items are useful for new players, I have yet to try them out, and completed the game without them.
Oddly, the target medals are used to get costume accessories, which are a fun way to customize the main characters, but only change appearances. When you buy an accessory, you get a random one, (thankfully, there are no repeats). It might have been nice to choose which one you want, especially for the players that like this feature. You will need to get every target medal to get all of the accessories, and that is a little bit of a drag, as you have to master every stage by getting all crowns, and by using a certain number of boxes or fewer. You don’t have to do both on the same run in this game, but this means you have to play each stage one to three times to get them all.
Now, normally, I try to keep reviews spoiler free, but considering that this was in the game’s advertising, this MILD SPOILER for completing either single player or two player modes allows you to play as Qudy, the tall box character. This mode is the biggest brain teaser of the three stories, due to the taller shape of the character. I had the most fun playing this mode, as it both looks and plays in a delightfully awkward way. I found myself chuckling most of the times that Qudy had to bend down to enter a door, or the way he can flop on the ground when he leans down on the ground to reach a ledge otherwise just out of reach. It is well worth getting to this story, so it is something both new and old fans will enjoy equally. END MILD SPOILER.
Overall, Box Boy + Box Girl is a good game for fans of puzzles and brainteasers. This game has the perk of being able to play with a friend, and offers a few new tricks to spice up the Box Boy formula a little. It is the longest game in the series, though, so be sure to play in fairly quick bursts. Other than that, the game is well crafted, and is worth a look if you are on a little bit of a budget.
Here are some play recommendations:
- Play in short bursts, maybe clear a world or two at a time.
- If you can grab a friend, play the two player story with them.
- Be sure to play all three stories.
- Balloon challenge is a diversion, but needed to get all the costumes.
- You may not be inclined to get all the crowns and the medals for using fewer boxes the first time around. If you are bored, go back and replay the stages later to achieve this. You are rewarded with a ranking system
- If you really can’t get enough of this game, you can try to get the highest rank in each stage. This will take quite a few attempts, so only the most dedicated players will want to do this.
Here are the Pros and Cons:
- Game eases players into new puzzles and concepts.
- Some neat new actions (particularly the hop and slide techniques).
- The “a tall tale” story is amusingly awkward.
- You can play with a friend.
- You may need to play each level 1-3 times to master it.
- The two player mode is a little slow if playing by yourself.
- The music is the weakest in the series (possible con based on preferences).
- In game shop is mostly pointless.
Now for the verdict:
8.02/10 A great puzzle platformer
(Normally, I’m not this specific with the score, but I wanted to stress that this game is between Box Boy(8/10) and Bye-Bye Box Boy(8.05/10) in terms of quality in my opinion.) I will stress that all Box Boy games have similar levels of quality, and if you like one game, you will like them all, due to how similar they are. They all fall in the 7.8-8.2 range, and Box Boy + Box Girl is no different.
And that is what I thought of Box Boy + Box Girl. What did you think of this game? Which story was your favorite? Which Box Boy game was your favorite? Let me know why in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button. If you want to keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email below! Until next time, have fun gaming!