I never thought I’d use my 3DS again, and then Bye-Bye BoxBoy! said hello.
The third title in the delightful BoxBoy! puzzle series — and available in Japan for some time — Bye-Bye relies on different box types like rocket-powered, bomb or warp boxes. Hero Qbby – who is now (of course) immortalised in amiibo form – must also escort baby boxes (Qbabies, natch) across certain levels when required. Action takes place over more than 180 levels, with themed-challenge worlds joining those in campaign mode.
If you’re unfamiliar with BoxBoy!, things are simple, yet incredibly complex. Qbby has the power to replicate himself; the number of boxes he can chain together at one time varies per level. Using your wits, you’ll need to use Qbby to traverse varied environmental obstacles. Qbby can remain connected through the chain, pulling himself along it to reach distant locations, or simply replicate himself and throw the structure forward to use as a set of stairs. Efficiency is of utmost importance, as each level has at least one collectible crown to collect. Use too many boxes to clear a level, and you’ll block yourself out of the crown.
Levels take around two to three minutes to clear, so Bye-Bye is well-suited for portable play. Of its numerous levels, it’s a mixed bag; newcomers to the franchise need the first couple worlds to get used to mechanics, while returning players will fly through unchallenged. With new box types to master, long-time fans will be taxed in the latter half of the title.
The change from two sets of placements to themed-boxes suits the franchise well, and forces you to rethink strategies. Several structures remain constant throughout BoxBoy’s three titles – almost becoming fail-safes if you’re stuck in an area – so the change really forces you to think outside the box (sorry). Thankfully, escort levels don’t drain the player like escort missions in most games will. Bye-Bye is a wonderful evolution of the norm, as are the welcome splashes of colour seen throughout levels.
There is amiibo support, but only for Kirby-themed figurines – this is HAL Laboratories we’re talking about, here – and provide costume changes for Qbby. The best costume doesn’t come from amiibo support, but rather as a reward package; those who’ve unlocked the Bunny costume in BoxBoy! can use it in Bye-Bye, allowing for higher jumps.
Bye-Bye provides a wonderful reason to return to your 3DS, even if its screen now looks pixelated and grotesque compared to the Nintendo Switch. With such a low price point ($7 AUD!) and hours of refined entertainment, it’s hard to go wrong with a purchase. Now that we’ve all three standalone BoxBoy! games in the west, Nintendo, let’s get the three bundled (and remastered) for Switch.
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! was reviewed using a promotional code on 3DS, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.