Why You Should Be Excited About HAL Laboratory’s Boxboy

Pushmo, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Mutant Mudds… That’s not the sound of a stark raving madman, those are the names of digital downloads on the 3DS eShop, and darn good ones at that. It takes a certain spark to elevate an eShop download to that of “must-play”. Add Boxboy to that list of luminaries. Having launched in Japan earlier this year, Boxboy is a refreshing new puzzle game from Nintendo alum HAL Laboratory (aka, the studio behind Kirby and Smash Bros.) and you should be excited for it’s coming.

Nintendo of America made sure to put the spotlight on their upcoming indie line-up at this week’s GDC, with a list rattling off dozens of smaller downloads with plenty of originality, creativity, and fun to go around. In a list that consists of games like Don’t Starve, Octodad, and Runbow, Boxboy stands out not only for its stark black & white visuals, but for coming out of Nintendo: a perceptively conservative publisher is releasing a game that looks like it came from a 1980’s PC.

So what is Boxboy, you may ask? First off, it stars a titular character who consists of nothing more than four sides, two dots, and some rudimentary limbs. Every level sees you get to the end of a self-contained level, using nothing but Boxboy to navigate. You do so by extending Boxboy to spawn extra boxes, allowing him to cross gaps, raise himself upward, and more. You’ll even have to deal with unique obstacles and puzzles in each world.

Don’t let its stark graphics fool you: Boxboy is one to look out for. From all accounts, it’s a remarkable pick-up-and-play puzzle game full of charm, intelligent design, and that trademark Nintendo fun. Sadly, no firm release date was given to North America for Boxboy, only the dreaded “spring” release window. Until then, we can wistfully look out every Thursday morning (the day the eShop updates) and hope for Boxboy to arrive.

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Editor-in-Chief (Former)

A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.