This is Boxy Boy for the Turbografx 16. Can this game stand the test of time? Can Boxy Boy stand with Mario, Sonic, and the rest as a classic? And most important: can Boxy Boy earn the most distinguished award in gaming: the Malstrom Award?
The Boxy Boy gameplay was done in other games (probably made by the same company) at this time. I remember Boxxle for the Gameboy which I owned. The stages are identical.
Boxy Boy is a puzzle game where you push boxes onto the dots. And that is all. The simplicity is cool.
What is really cool is that you can press a button that undoes your last move. You can also hold down another button that makes your character run really fast (so you do not waste time walking around).
The menu is awesome because you ‘retry’ the map you are on or, my favorite, TURN OFF THE STUPID MUSIC.
At the beginning, you can choose whatever stage from the ten initial stages. Then, it becomes linear progression.
There also is a construction mode where you can make your own stages.
There are also some strange cutscenes. They are dramatizing pushing crates in a warehouse!
Overall, Boxy Boy is a very inoffensive game. I like that. All you do is push boxes. There is no other premise about it. The game isn’t trying to be something else.
The core gameplay is executed well. I think the makers of this game did everything they could with this sort of gameplay. It’s a shame that this gameplay gets rather boring fast, but it is cool for what it is.
Some people say Neutopia is the Turbografx 16’s clone of Zelda. They are wrong. Boxy Boy is. According to Aonuma, modern Zelda is about ‘puzzles’ and ‘NPCs’. And we know how often we push boxes around in Zelda to solve puzzles. So if NPCs were added to Boxy Boy, we would have an Aonuma-styled Zelda game. I’m not joking here. We would!
Anyway, this game does not earn the blessed Malstrom Award, the award that all games wish they could get (but few ever do). The gameplay just gets stale fast. However, it is as well done as we will ever find this sort of gameplay. It is cool in that regard. Cute game.
UPDATE: Downgraded game to ‘4’ and as something you can skip. This game is nothing but moving boxes onto squares. There is no imagination in this game. Yech!
Disclaimer: The ‘quality’ is gauged only by how often I return to the game. TG16 games are not isolated; they are compared to every other game out there. A game can be ‘bad’ and keep me coming back. A game can be ‘good’ that I never want to touch again. Irrational addictive-ness, which defies quantification, is the only element examined here.
-TG 16 Games Reviewed So Far-
Malstrom Awards: (Addictive and Awesome even today, they refuse to age. Score of 10)
Devil’s Crush (Imaginative sound and gothic theme. You’ll keep coming back to this one.)
Galaga ’90 (Purest shmup I have ever seen. This will still be played 50 years from now.)
Gradius (Four options can cause slowdown, but this arcade port remains difficult and legendary.)
R-type (Never gets old because it can never be beaten. Fun to try here and there.)
Honorable Mentions: (Good games that are flawed or gameplay has suffered aging. Score of 6-9)
(8) World Court Tennis (Most interesting RPG on the TG 16. Seriously.)
(7) Alien Crush (Interesting, addictive, but flawed. Good to play as a break to Devil’s Crush)
(6) Bonk’s Adventure (Meh platformer oozes incredible charm)
(6) Boxy Boy (Solid puzzle game, but it gets stale fast. Contains level editor.)
Don’t bother: (Not fun to play today. Score of 5 and below.)
(5) Military Madness (Overrated, dated gameplay, repetitious, dull colorless setting of the moon)
(5) Neutopia (boring, bad game design, can’t hold a candle to Zelda, fire wand is only thing going for this game)
(4) Bomberman (dull and boring, totally surpassed by its sequels on this system)
(4) Ninja Gaiden (Compared to NES: worse sound and controls, terrible parallax scrolling. Nothing to see here.)
(3) Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition (2 button controller is terrible for 6 button game. Good luck getting a 6 button controller.)
(1) Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (The 16 bit version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.)