Amongst the other announcements, Nintendo announced that the sequel to HAL's eShop exclusive BoxBoy! (which was released last year) would be released in just a couple of weeks in the US. This wasn't a great surprise since it's been released in Japan already, but as it happens I was in the middle of the game and ended up finishing the main mode today.

I'm almost always happy to play a puzzle game, and the first BoxBoy! game got pretty good reviews so it was on my radar for a while. The game is purposely designed to have a very simplistic, retro aesthetic. The puzzles are generally low-key and relaxing, aided in big part by checkpoints after each part of a stage and unlimited continues and resets, although there are definitely some head-scratching moments, especially when trying to nab all of the game's optional collectable. The game's accoutrements include some basic story elements and NPCs, relaxing chiptune-like music, unlockable costumes and bonus modes, and bonus levels unlocked after beating the game. These all round out the package but don't really distract much from the core gameplay.

As for the gameplay itself, the box generating mechanics feel fresh, and it was pretty satisfying to work my way through all the stages. The main character is fairly limited in his abilities, but pretty much every world in the main game introduces new stage hazards that change things up in surprising ways and provide a satisfying amount of variety. At times the game does feel a bit clinical in the way that it seems to almost painstakingly go through every possible variation of the core game mechanics, which makes the game feel a bit belabored overall, so much so that I didn't bother playing much of the extra five worlds that unlock after beating the main game. The sequel has the main twist of allowing you to create two sets of boxes instead of one (although that mechanic also appears at the tail end of this game). I'm definitely open to checking out that game, although I won't be in a hurry to pick it up given its strong similarities to this game, including a fairly slow and gently paced nature (not a bad thing, but not super compelling either).

Check out these genial and puzzling BoxBoy! links:
- Official site. Has some pretty funny comics and some wallpapers.
- Page on Miiverse
- Interview with the creator/designer, at NintendoLife
- Review on NintendoLife
- Entry at Wikipedia

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