In BoxPlots, you control a cube that moves other cubes around. But that description and the name BoxPlots don’t do the game justice. It’s not until you start playing and see the adorable protagonist cube, hopping around the screen in thematic outfits, accompanied by music you might find in a trendy Apple commercial, that you begin to understand this game’s charm.
BoxPlots is a puzzler with 28 levels, each with a different theme, and occasionally a different mechanic. The goal is to hop around and push objects to their target locations, whether that means putting teeth back where they belong in a whale’s mouth, or rebuilding an ancient Roman building. A few levels have other gameplay mechanics, like hopping cubes that need to be directed where to go, or cubes that need to be rotated and rearranged.
Fun with boxes.
Simplicity is a major theme in the game’s design, so the controls are very intuitive. Movement is controlled by swiping and tapping the screen, and a two finger tap brings up the menu. We’re a little disappointed that there are no extra controls aside from the basics; we would have liked an “undo” button and a hint function. Some of the puzzles can be tedious, and in others we found success impossible due to one wrong early move.
But mostly BoxPlots offers a fun, charming experience, thanks in large part to the level variety. You’ll play through levels based on things like stealing jewels, stacking cows, and feeding a giant squid using terrified little crustaceans. The developers even give retro fans a nod by including a few 2D “Arcade” levels.
The levels go by pretty quickly, and when we finished we wished the game had more than just 28 levels. Still, dedicated players can find replay value in trying to earn trophies and Game Center achievements. Each level has one trophy based on time, another based on number of moves, and a third for getting both of those (though that third one strikes us as unimaginative).
Overall, BoxPlots is a very enjoyable puzzle game, thanks mostly to its character and its simple design. We were left wanting more levels, but that only illustrates how fun the game is. Any puzzle fan will likely enjoy BoxPlots, whether they want to rearrange solar panels in the arctic or get the shrubbery just right.