Since its debut in 2015, one of Nintendo’s best series has been a little black-and-white puzzler called Boxboy. Unfortunately, it never quite caught on in a major way. Maybe that’s due to the fact that all three games were released as downloads on the 3DS, or maybe the spartan visuals made it seem boring. Whatever the reason, there’s a good chance you haven’t experienced the joy of boxes, and now is the perfect time to fix that. This week, Nintendo released Boxboy + Boxgirl on the Switch, and it’s the most comprehensive release in the series yet. The game includes more than 250 new puzzles to solve, a co-op mode, and slightly spruced-up visuals.
As with all great puzzle games, the premise of Boxboy is incredibly simple: you’re presented with a small level, and the goal is to get to the door at the end. In order to do that, you have to utilize a somewhat strange skill: the titular lead character can produce boxes out of his body. With this power, you’re able to create bridges and ladders to navigate each level. Eventually, you’ll gain new skills, like the ability to use blocks as a pogo stick or grappling hook, and the level design similarly becomes more complex. You start out traversing small pits of spikes, but eventually, you’ll have to contend with laser beams and door-opening switches.
There are a few things that make the game work so well. The most important is that the level design is constantly changing, regularly introducing new ideas that will force you to think of different tactics for proceeding. The puzzles are also very small, making them ideal bite-sized challenges for playing on the go. When it comes to difficulty, you’re able to customize the experience. Getting through each stage is generally easy enough, but finding the hidden crowns and using as few boxes as possible adds a new layer of challenge to otherwise straightforward puzzles.
These games are also just really, really cute. Boxboy and Boxgirl may just be tiny boxes with legs, but they exude a surprising amount of charm and personality. It’s all in the way their eyes dart around and how they shake when producing new boxes. Plus, as you beat levels, you’ll unlock currency that lets you dress up each character in silly outfits. Boxboy + Boxgirl is a great game, but it’s even better when the heroes are wearing bunny ears.
Ultimately, the Switch version doesn’t offer a drastically different experience, and that’s totally okay. Instead, it’s a more accessible, fully featured version of an already great game. Boxboy deserves a chance to shine, and hopefully, this is it.
Boxboy + Boxgirl is available now on the Nintendo Switch.