Sunday, December 27, 2009


Media Rings / Thinking Rabbit / NEC

BoxyBoy grants you the opportunity to visit some of the world's greatest nations, like Egypt, Japan, and, uh, "SOUTHPOLE." Once you arrive in a particular country, you get to CHALLENGE it...

...which basically means you'll have to shove a bunch of boxes onto a bunch of dots.

And that's all there is to it. Some boards (not many) are easy; some are ridiculously difficult. Some are small, while others are so large that they comprise multiple screens. The game is somewhat helpful and forgiving: you can rewind your actions and bring up a faraway-view map screen to get a better idea of the big picture.

You may hammer away at these simple-in-concept puzzles for 250 rounds if you like. Sadly, unless this boxy brand of conundrum is really up your alley, you'll likely find the adventure too uninteresting and repetitive to stick with for more than just a couple dozen levels. Even if you enjoy other puzzlers that involve shoving shit around, chances are you won't find BB particularly appealing, as the ones you've already experienced probably do much better jobs of keeping players interested. Old Adventures of Lolo for NES basically boils down to pushing stuff, but it features a likable hero and plenty of hostile creatures for him to deal with (and even equips him with the means of putting those creatures to use in the puzzle solving). The Turbo's very own Tricky Kick isn't as complex as Lolo, but it succeeds thanks to cool level themes and appealing characters who have their own unique storylines that are relayed via opening and closing cinemas. To be fair, BoxyBoy does periodically present congratulatory cinematic screens...

...but we're hardly talking the sort of stuff that'll motivate a player to persevere through a multitude of tough levels. Now, if BoxyBoy were, like, my only TurboGrafx game, I suppose I could see myself spending hours and hours on its most challenging boards and eventually developing a fondness for the title. Solving a hellish room layout does feel awfully good...

...but maybe that awesome feeling is really just attributable to relief. And for some reason I doubt that there are many people in that unenviable BB-only position, so few will have reason to play the game for very long, as the system's library offers so many more-attractive alternatives. Like Gate of Thunder. Or Rondo of Blood. Or Tricky Kick.

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