A Decent Niche Puzzle Game

User Rating: 7 | Art Style: BOXLIFE DS
In all honesty, I was on the fence about this one. I'm not the biggest fan of puzzle games. I enjoy match-three games, Picross, and Layton in small doses, but I'm more of an action kinda guy. That being said, there was something charming about this game I had trouble saying no to. At $5, I figured it was a small loss should it not be my cup of tea.

And well, it's not really my cup of tea. It's a good puzzle game, one in which you must cut and roll up paper to create boxes. In the game's main (R&D) mode, you're given a set layout of paper, and you have to cut it at specific points to create shapes that will allow you to roll up the paper into boxes without any paper left to spare. It's a neat idea, and I kind of enjoyed it for a short while.

Thing is, the content and the amount of it still feel a bit overpriced at $5. Boxlife is also quite challenging and not really welcoming to casual puzzle-game fans like myself. I can zip through Ninja Gaiden in hard mode no problem, but this game stumbled me even in the early levels.

Boxlife has a separate tutorial mode, as well as detailed instructions outside of the game. As far as instructing the player, the game does a fine job. However, there's a timer constantly ticking away in R&D mode, not just for each level but for each individual puzzle. If you take too long for a particular puzzle, you're penalized, and the penalty increases the longer you take. Quotas can be crazy hard to meet late into the game.

Challenge isn't a bad thing, of course, and if you're the kind of gamer who salivates over Layton games, you may very well feel like you've gotten your money's worth out of Boxlife. There's a separate mode where you have endless paper canvas and have to work against the clock to make as many boxes as you can, all while wasting as little paper as possible to earn money. With that money you can then purchase little trinkets for your box house. It's cute, and definitely a big part of the charm.

The music is also very good. If you're a fan of videogame music, Boxlife has some of the best found in a downloadable game. It's funky, occasionally hypnotic, but always fun and well matched with the gameplay.

Take my score for what it's worth: a reflection of a game whose value is greatly dependent on your love of challenging puzzle games. Boxlife has a neat premise and an enjoyable presentation, but its clever gameplay is also brutally uncompromising.