Smash Bros. dev bringing blocky puzzler BOXBOY! to 3DS

Block buds

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HAL Laboratories (Super Smash Bros., Mother) has been busying itself with a couple Kirby games recently, but it looks like someone over there had an idea for a lil puzzle game and rolled with it.

BOXBOY! (already released on the 3DS eShop in Japan) is minimal outside of its charming animations. It is black, white, and mostly made of squares. You can walk Qbby left and right in an overworld with a Ms. Pac-Man-esque bowtied Qbby trailing behind. Enter doors to start a world, most of which seem to be designed around a particular technique. Five worlds (with around seven levels each) were playable during my GDC demo. There are 17 in total.

Aside from running and jumping, Qbby can bud blocks from his body. Each level gives you a limit to how many blocks you can produce at any given time, while there is also an overall number of blocks you can use on a stage. Getting to the end while collecting one or two black crowns will net you a “perfect” rating (and give you currency to unlock fun extras).

When you start, you can produce one block from your body and usually throw it to use as a step to reach a higher platform. As the levels go on and the block limit gets higher, you use new techniques. One section is themed around using blocks as a hook. That is, you produce three stacked blocks straight up, followed one to the right, forming a hook atop your head. You can then latch that last block onto a high ledge and have Qbby contract up to that latched block like folding in one side of the accordion.

I’m fine with the absentee art style (and Qbby’s dumb lil feet as you move the box back and forth), but I never felt stumped throughout the first five worlds. It was more relaxing than puzzling. Maybe that’s the point. Or maybe the later worlds will combine the various techniques a bit more, or make it so the limit of blocks you can produce per stage actually feels like a restriction; I never ran out.


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