Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is the third game (and by its name seemingly the last) in the BoxBoy! series following BoxBoy! (2015) and BoxBoxBoy! (2016).
I will admit this was the first in the puzzle platformer series by Japanese developer HAL Laboratory that I have played, and although the obscure title and character Qbby sounded familiar, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
The premise of this game is simple: you control a cute square-shaped character named Qbby that must navigate its way across a platform game-esque stage. In order to move past obstacles, Qbby is able to squeeze out boxes that he can either physically drop and walk over, or “absorb” moving along its path.
Qbby is also able to create boxes with special powers that include a boxrocket, a bombox (a bomb), a warpbox (teleportation) and remotebox (can levitate boxes).
Check out Qbby’s moves in the cute trailer below:
While there is not much of a story, you are required to rescue Qbabies (who grant you special powers), who then do funny things in the world select area.
There is also some interaction with the female box character Qucy, who you can play as if you have played the previous BoxBoy! games or complete the game with perfect scores on all levels (talk about playing hard to get).
Each level’s difficulty is dictated by the number of boxes Qbby can squeeze out at a time, and the total number of boxes allowed.
If you fail, don’t fret, this game is quite forgiving.
On first impression, it was clear this was going to be a different game.
I wouldn’t be surprised if many dismiss this game completely due to its simple, mostly monochromatic graphics. Yes at first glance it does look a bit boring and dated, but once you start playing Bye-Bye BoxBoy! it becomes an extremely clever game. In true Japanese style, there is a definite cuteness factor and the minimalist retro graphics means that gameplay is paramount.
The gameplay is quite simple, and the first few levels only take a few seconds each to complete. In fact, all the levels are quite short, and this game is more about working out how to overcome the set obstacles rather than racing through levels like in a classic platformer (note: this is a puzzle game first and foremost). This makes this game perfect for travelling and quick bouts of procrastination.
The addition of the Qbabies adds to the complexity (and cute factor) of this game as well as the quite cool powerups your boxes can gain by saving your little box babies. While gaining character skins for Qbby doesn’t add to the game play, it does add to the overall quirky charm of this title.
Although we now have to say “bye” to Qbby (but I only just said hi!), he is destined to live on. With his own Amiibo released, I would not be surprised if we see some BoxBoy! cameos in other games in the future. Hopefully there will be some form of title for the Switch, or even a dedicated Qbabies spin-off title.
- Cute and quirky design
- Addictive gameplay
- Short and sweet levels perfect for gaming on the go
- Looks dull at first glance
- Levels either super easy or quite challenging
- Looks deceptively like a platformer
Although we are saying bye to BoxBoy, this will probably one of those extended family reunion goodbyes where you won’t be seeing the door for some time. This game is recommended for anyone who wishes for a cute puzzle game they can pick up and leave as they please.