HAL Laboratory’s final instalment in the BoxBoy series offers yet another satisfying plethora of deceptively simple puzzles that will have you scratching your brainbox with inquisitive glee.
In order to begin thinking outside of the box, you once again have to the assume the role of Qbby. A sentient box (that looks more like a marshmallow with legs) who can produce a set amount of connected boxes. You then use these boxes to traverse to the end of a level by essentially playing tetris with the environment. This consists of doing things like, fashioning a barrier out of boxes to avoid lasers, creating a bridge to cross a gap or slithering like a snake through narrow gaps.
However, basic boxes aren’t the only thing in your arsenal. With every new environmental obstacle thrown at Qbby, he’s given a different type of box that can be used to overcome them.
If there’s a ledge you can’t quite get to, you can hitch a ride on a box rocket that will launch you to your destination. If there’s a wall stopping you from getting to the end of a level, you can throw an explosive box at it to help pave a way through. The way these obstacles are dispersed throughout the game always keeps it feeling fresh and fun. It’s also great that you’re never boxed in by any constrictive parameters forcing you to bypass an obstacle in one particular way. This environmental experimentation is complimented by the game’s generous checkpoints that allows you to instantly reset to the beginning of an area if you make a mistake.
Like the previous games in the BoxBoy series, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is puzzle platforming in its purest form. There’s no artistic finesse à la Braid or visual vibrancy akin to Battleblock Theater – it’s a simple minimalistic monochrome world with a simple core gameplay loop – use the boxes at your disposal to help reach the exit doors located at the end of every level.
For an added extra layer of puzzle solving, each level has a a number of collectable crowns in hard to reach spots. With every crown you collect (of which there are usually one or two) you are rewarded with extra in-game currency once the level has been completed. If you exceed the amount of boxes given to complete a level, the crown will become greyed out and you will be unable to collect it. This is where the instant reset feature comes in handy, as you can immediately have another attempt at reaching the elusive headwear.
Thankfully, the amount of crowns in a level is not abundant – so if you’re a compulsive collector, you won’t have to spend too much extra time working out how to capture the crown jewels. The currency you earn from completing levels can be used to purchase outfits, short comics, music and challenges. I spent most of my money on the short, humorous comics and the whimsical array of outfits. The items that can be purchased are a tad inconsequential but I always got a kick out seeing Qbby dressed as a pirate – or as I liked to call him, Captain Barboxssa.
Don’t be fooled by Bye-Bye BoxBoy’s unassuming appearance, it consistently provides succinct morsels of puzzle solving goodness that always challenges but never overstays its welcome. If you’ve overlooked the BoxBoy series until now, saying bye bye to BoxBoy might just be the best way to get acquainted.
The Nintendo 3DS version of this game was played for the purpose of this review. You can read our review policy HERE.