Review – BoxBoy + BoxGirl!

Nintendo loves to release a small, harmless puzzle game whenever there are no plans of releasing a brand new Switch game at any given month. Snipperclips, Battle Sports Mekuru and the re-release of the mediocre Captain Toad are a few examples of that trend. Those are games that don’t feature fantastic graphics or sound, have simplistic gameplay, and are well-suited for the Switch’s portability since they’re best enjoyed in short sessions. The same can be said about BoxBoy + BoxGirl!, a brand new release in a series which was previously exclusive to the 3DS eShop.


I think I drew something similar back in third grade.

The BoxBoy games are pretty simple. You play as a little square with legs and eyes, and your goal is to reach the end of a level by traversing obstacles with your box growing powers. You can grow a set amount of boxes from your body and either use them as movable platforms or pseudo-grappling hooks in order to reach taller sections. It’s not mindblowing by any means, but it’s fun for a few minutes at a time. The reason I’m describing the gameplay from the previous BoxBoy games in a BoxBoy + BoxGirl! review is that this is basically the same game as before, with just a few new additions here and there.

BoxBoy + BoxGirl! is just a bunch of new BoxBoy levels with the addition of two new playable characters (one being BoxBoy with a bow and the other one being a rectangle with legs) and a brand new local co-op mode. HAL Laboratory created a brand new batch of levels designed with co-op in mind, making BoxBoy + BoxGirl! a lot meatier than its predecessors.


Taking bae to the mall.

That being said, neither the co-op or the solo campaigns are that memorable. They follow the same pattern seen in most mid-tier Nintendo games: a bunch of random worlds comprised of small levels with similar themes, some extra unlockables to find in each level in order to promote replayability, and a few unlockables you can buy with in-game currency. This game reminded me of Yoshi’s Crafted World and Wooly World more than I could have ever expected, the difference being that the Yoshi games feature great visuals and music, while BoxBoy + BoxGirl! features minimalistic graphics that might look charming for some, but I ended up disliking due to how repetitive all levels ended up looking like. All levels are too short and easy to solve. There is little incentive to 100% the game, as the cosmetic unlockables are as minimalistic as the rest of the game itself. You just want to beat a level and forget that it exists.


I think I’m stuck…

Of all Switch games published by Nintendo up until this point, BoxBoy + BoxGirl! is one of the most forgettable so far. It’s not as bad as Kirby Star Allies or as egregious as re-releasing the awful New Super Mario Bros U at full price, but it’s just not as memorable as other games released by the company so far. For the asking price, you could do a lot worse, but I’d still recommend grabbing Snipperclips over this one if you’re looking for a cheap puzzle game that’s best enjoyed with a friend.


Graphics: 5.5

The minimalistic art style can be charming at times, but the environments and assets look way too simplistic. It becomes tiresome to the eyes after a while.

Gameplay: 8.0

For what it’s worth, the controls are simple and very intuitive. The hint system is a nice tool for newcomers, even though the overall game is actually too easy.

Sound: 5.5

A small collection of calm and harmless tunes that add nothing to the gameplay, but don’t ruin the experience either. The game is best played on mute anyway.

Fun Factor: 6.5

Nothing in this game is mindblowing or challenging and the puzzles are often way too easy to solve. It’s fun but forgettable. Playing with a friend is quite enjoyable, though.

Final Verdict: 6.5

BoxBoy + BoxGirl! is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.