On the surface when a game looks like Box It Up! Inc., there is not much that could possibly go wrong to put the player on the edge or require full focus and attention. And that’s exactly where the developers have nailed it by hiding a nasty puzzle-based game that could easily take a dip for the worst, under simple and retro-themed graphics. What starts out first as simple and casual fun in the starting levels soon turn into attention needing and head-scratching levels of thinking while being on a timer to quickly chain combos and progress to the next levels. However, the core of the gameplay doesn’t change, just the amount of obstacles and problems to be overcome in the same time frame given which makes the game harder as the levels progress.
Box It Up! Inc. is a conveyor-belt-based puzzle where the players in the game find themselves pushing boxes along a track. At the end of the track are three gates – red, yellow, and blue, and you must make sure that the matching-colored boxes reach their respective gates. Multiple types of scoring exist; a box reaching the correct gate on its own will net a point, but it is doubled to two points if it is tapped on to send it quickly. Stacks of boxes can also be flung to get even more points and clear more space which becomes a necessity as the levels progress.
While the gameplay sounds and IS basic, it is done to near perfection on this one as the timings of the boxes coming in and new mechanics being introduced keep you on the edge due to it giving a constant feeling of being a few seconds away from disaster. It feeds off this fear by also throwing off the player by putting in fake boxes or boxes that first need to be filled before being sent through the gate.
One mistake is not game over or a restart mission like most games as there is a health system that goes down as boxes are misaligned. This is a good design choice as it feeds off the player’s anxiousness and panic. When a couple of boxes do not make it through the right gate successfully, instead of the game ending, Box It Up! Inc. gives chances to the player to fix their mistakes which only adds to the haphazard style of gameplay being promoted here and makes the victories even more satisfying.
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Usually I try to see the graphics from the developer’s perspective while keeping in mind how important are the graphics compared to the other elements in each game. In Box It Up! Inc., the graphics are the most rudimentary and fundamental in nature for today’s generation. While this may make it sound like its bad, it acts as a nasty bait for today’s generation into this game as it appears to be just another simple puzzler that could be used to pass the time when there’s nothing better to do, when instead, after a little bit of progression, the game throws enough of its own tantrums to keep the player engaged. Graphics get an easy pass as it is designed like this and not as a result of a limitation.
Leaderboards will obviously be there for a game that is judges how well you do base on the score or points earned. Apart from competing with yourself, this gives a fresh perspective on where you stand compared to players around the world. If the global leaderboards are too much, then there’s always the friends’ leaderboards that compare your Hi-scores with your friends. Integration of the leaderboard into the game by means of displaying your friends’ score when you beat it, or when reaching a milestone would be better, but as it currently stands, leaderboards is basically a page that just displays the scores according to their rank in order.
Microtransactions luckily do not influence gameplay directly (apart from a slight nuance highlighted later) and thus money has no command over someone’s score in Box It Up! Inc., MTX can be used by the in-game currency which can then be used to purchase skins and themes that changes the look of the game. The slight nuance mentioned earlier is that it is possible to buy life/no. of lives through the store which can have an effect on how many continues a player can achieve to keep one run going.
Pros and Cons:
- Addicting PuzzlerSimple fundamentals with a progression that remains challenging
- Satisfying chaining effects
- Light on battery
- No major learning curve, plug-n-play style gameplay
- Can get repetitive if played for long hours at a stretch
Box It Up! Inc. is a charming yet punishing game. Hidden underneath that 1980s style graphics consisting of low-polygon count is gameplay that encourages a streak to be continued while making it harder and tossing more and more obstacles on the screen to tackle which makes the victories and chaining effects even more satisfying after coming in seconds from losing a life or a streak. It is an amazing game from the developers of Tape It Up! and it has got some upgrades in its bag which induce hate from the player in a good way to keep them addicted.