Review: Goodbye! BoxBoy! squares everything away

Qbby, we hardly knew ye. Two years after his exceptionally entertaining debut, our favorite cube is cutting out. Goodbye! BoxBoy! is forcing us to bid you adieu; what a send-off it is! This puzzle game tasks us with traversing levels using all sorts of new mechanics. Far from a pointless endeavor, this game squares everything away quite tidily, giving us a wonderful adventure that never leaves us feeling boxed in.

Goodbye! BoxBoy! begins in the typical fashion. Qbby is in his spaceship with Qucy and Qudy, his companions, and is traveling to rid planets of harmful black gunk and enemies. After completing a tutorial world that reminds you of proper boxing mechanics, he heads out to these worlds to rescue BoxBit children and eliminate pollution from their planets with new abilities.

These new dynamics are handled quite well in Goodbye! BoxBoy! Where BoxBoxBoy! made nearly all of its puzzles revolve around the ability to generate two groups of blocks, this installment offers quite a bit more variety. While you will occasionally have rideable BoxRockets, exploding BoxBombs, teleporting BoxWarps and radio controlled RemoteBoxes, these are temporary diversions. They never outlast their welcome, only staying long enough for you to enjoy a decent number of levels to show how useful the skills can be and force you to think critically. Sometimes you will have to escort the BoxBits through precarious situations, but each one is only under your care for a single world. Each one tests your critical thinking skills and forces you to show you understand its applications in brief, but gradually more challenging, levels.

Goodbye! BoxBoy!’s success comes from its focus on what is important; it keeps coming back to the ingenious and comprehensive abilities of a single group of three, four, five or even six blocks.

Goodbye! BoxBoy!’s success comes from its focus on what is important; it keeps coming back to the ingenious and comprehensive abilities of a single group of three, four, five or even six blocks. When you’re escorting BoxBits, you aren’t also worrying about the temporary special abilities. You are using your set group of blocks to the best of your ability to get the child from point A to point B. When you aren’t in one of the 22 worlds that requires you to make good use of a special ability, you are being forced to use tried and tested methods to think outside the box.

Of course, it doesn’t fail to provide you opportunities to use these valuable skills. As I mentioned earlier, there are 22 worlds filled with 150 levels here. There are an array of costumes to unlock, provided you’ve collected the necessary bits by going the extra mile to accumulate each area’s crowns. You can enjoy brief comics and songs. There are as many as three visual effects, depending on which amiibo you have or haven’t purchased. This is outside of the additional challenge stages you can purchase.

Some costumes even have special abilities. Let’s use the Qucy outfit as an example. When dressed as Qucy, you don’t have to pay for hints. You can just tap the lightbulb and see what you’re supposed to do. Try using the fish costume in a water stage. You may find swimming a bit easier. People who want to switch things up, even the teensiest bit, can do so in a way that allows people who don’t to preserve and enjoy the standard experience.

There are many instances where beloved series jump the shark. They lose that thing that made us love them. HAL Laboratory is making sure that doesn’t happen with Qbby. It is cutting Goodbye! BoxBoy! off at the perfect point. The series is still fresh and innovative; new ideas were properly introduced, without overshadowing what made the games so great. Goodbye! BoxBoy! leaves players and fans completely satisfied, so we can always remember Qbby fondly.

Score: 9/10
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: February 2, 2017
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS
Questions? Check out our review guide.
This review is based on an imported product. It is based on the experience of playing the game with little to no knowledge of the language, and the content may change if/when released in other regions.

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