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BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: N/A
ESRB: E

This is Boxboy! + Boxgirl! for the Nintendo Switch and if it looks somewhat familiar that’s because it’s a follow up to the 3DS game Boxboy! And if it doesn’t look familiar then you’re in for a treat like those who played the first game will already know because the 2D puzzle platformer continues to be a fun eShop addition.

So the story is very light and has our characters Qbby and Qucy in a journey to save their world from a giant asteroid. How they do this is by traversing through different worlds and challenges which will lead them to new abilities gained by walking right up to other characters in the overworld. At least I guess that’s all it takes to find a new power, but the courses between you and standing next to your new allies are the real obstacle.

The gameplay is simple but challenging as your goal is to reach the doors at the end of each stage. The game will start you out with few abilities like creating boxes and using them to reach new areas but in each world you will find new hazards and new abilities to meet these challenges. If you want to picture how it works then imagine you’re a brick who can change its shape into those similar to Tetris. You will constantly be thinking about the best shape to use and this is not always easy.

But the challenge of completing each stage isn’t the end since you are also graded on how many boxes you place and also have bonus crown items to get. And if you think you’re done after getting three badges and all the crowns on a world then don’t let the black stars mislead you because the game then displays its rankings on each level. So for the ultra completionists looking for a real challenge they can finally be satisfied with S-ranks across the board.

Some will call this game cute but I think it just looks nice and clean. I might have liked to see more color but there is some added character in the unlocks which you can purchase with currency awarded by doing well in levels and meeting certain goals. Once you find the bubble gum accessory then you’re gonna look so cool and casual in the face of adversity! I do wish that the outfits would show on the stage select screen and don’t understand why they are removed for seemingly no reason.

Another small complaint is about some of the ways this game makes you wait for it to do something. And it’s a small thing but this adds up! You have to wait at the end of each level for the results screens to drag by and there is no way to speed up or skip the cutscenes which just take forever.

And the same goes for loading between stages which I would expect to happen instantly with a game this visually simple. Maybe it has to think really hard about if it even wants to complete your selection! And it’s not like it’s trying to load the whole world of Hyrule so this was confusing to me and if a patch comes in the future to cut down on the loading then it would be very welcome.

This is also a game which features co-op and it’s a series first. So grab your Boxkids or Boxfriends and have fun outsmarting this game as a team in A Tale for Two. Or if you don’t have any friends then the challenge becomes swapping between the characters as best as you can. This is a great addition on top of the single-player mode but players will even find a third campaign with the tall refrigerator character named Qudy who can rotate sideways. And this small change in shape actually makes a huge difference in how you play so the twist is a good one!

So if you have $10 and some curiosity then you’ll find a lot to do in Boxboy! + Boxgirl! This was my first time with the series and I found it very relaxing with good reasons to revisit stages after completion and unlock bonuses for playing and appearance. But it’s also slower paced than I expected so if you’re on the fence just check out the eShop demo because there’s a lot more where that came from!

Note: Nintendo provided us with a Boxboy! + Boxgirl! Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B