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BoxBoy! wins hearts and minds with charm and technique

I fell in love the moment I saw Qbby’s toes tap.




I fell in love the moment I saw Qbby’s toes tap.

You may have struggled to negotiate a particularly tricky jump, or puzzled over the correct method for opening a locked door but when Qbby’s toes tap, signifying a job well done, all feels good with the world.

BoxBoy! is a 3DS game with no 3D. It’s a monochrome game from the creators of the Pantone hungry Kirby series. And it’s also one of the best platform games I’ve played in the past few years, only bettered by Shovel Knight.


The game’s concept is so simple that it’s hard to fathom why it hasn’t been done before. A combination of Bionic Commando, Tetris and Thomas Was Alone.

This video pretty much explains how BoxBoy! plays but it doesn’t get across the gradual increase in complexity, nor the continually inventive ways the game teaches you new techniques. It’s a masterclass in game design.

BoxBoy! is a game stripped of fluff, a pure demonstration of ingeniously applied game play mechanics. It might be simple looking, but it’s full of character and charm. I mean, just look at him. He has more charisma than all of Sonic’s friends put together.


BoxBoy! is available now on the Nintendo eShop, priced  £4.49, and you really should buy it.

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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe.