Super Box Land Demake (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 28.10.2019

Review for Super Box Land Demake on PlayStation 4

As long as there have been video games, there have been switches. As long as there have been switches, there have boxes, pots, or statues that need to be pushed onto said switches. These inevitably open a door, drop a key, or something else the player needs to progress. Super Box Land Demake (a demake in name only, as there's nothing to indicate something else exists that this is demaking) is that most basic of formulas realized as an entire gaming experience. Nothing special added, no additional mechanics - just that idea strung tight across 100 levels… and by the time it's over, it definitely shows.

For the first 40 levels or so, Super Box Land Demake is a pleasant experience overall. The player is tasked with moving boxes around an area, and placing them on switches. Two players are able to tackle the experience together, either sharing a controller, or each on their own. There are also difficulties, ranging from Easy to Hard, though the only obvious difference between these two is that on Easy, there is an option to rewind, and this is removed on Hard. Rewinding isn't crucial early on, but later will be getting a workout thanks to progressively more difficult puzzles.

Screenshot for Super Box Land Demake on PlayStation 4

The visuals are nice, though nothing spectacular. The art style is a loose pixel look, which is fine overall, since the experience doesn't really warrant tighter pixels and finer details. These characters are just avatars after all, and a means to an end. Further refining wouldn't have hurt, but it's not something that feels like it's missing either. Coupled with the chiptune soundtrack, the whole experience is rounded off into what could have easily been a Game Boy Color game, had it been released many years ago.

The controls are also largely fine. The player has to deliberately push the boxes, which is nice, and allows more control then if just making contact had pushed them. Additionally, the ability to run around the map means that puzzles that require a lot of footwork don't feel bogged down by cumbersome walking from A to B. Really, if this was the whole package, and at most the game capped at 60 levels, this would be a great recommendation to a younger, or more inexperienced player. As it stands though, this is a hard title to outright recommend.

Screenshot for Super Box Land Demake on PlayStation 4

For one thing, the chiptune music is the same across all levels, save the final level for each world. Because the actual song isn't particularly deep, it becomes more of an annoyance as time goes on. Fortunately, it's not so obtrusive that you'll constantly notice it, but it does become irritating when you do. Additionally, this is spread across five worlds, and the only noticeable difference is the weather and the landscape. No new gameplay mechanics are introduced, and this results in the decision to include worlds being more perplexing than anything else. In between worlds there is a mini-game that has the player flying a plane and shooting balloons and dodging mines. It's inoffensive overall, but it also feels needlessly tacked on.

The rewind function is frustrating, as it goes by steps taken. This often results in needing to reset the puzzle if it would take too long to rewind it all the way back to where the mistake was made. Resets are mildly clever, requiring you to run out of the map back to the previous one and then re-enter for the puzzle to reset. However, this is never clearly explained, and seems like more work than just allowing for a reset from the menu.

Screenshot for Super Box Land Demake on PlayStation 4

Controls are largely fine but they do highlight the games worst quality. Due to packing 100 levels into the game, level difficulty is completely inconsistent. The hardest level for this reviewer was level 45, and nothing came close after that. Sure, a few rewinds will be needed later on, and level 100 is fairly difficult, but difficult levels are generally packed in between multiple easy (or at least easier) ones. Even when it does feel consistent, it often becomes tedious. Puzzles are largely based on the idea of mirroring one side of the map with the other, effectively saying "Do this, now do it in reverse." When they don't fall into this category, they fall into a much more frustrating category, and this is where the controls highlight the biggest flaw at hand.

If you are playing solo, inevitably you will need to hit Triangle and pop out the second avatar. This is because several of the levels seem to require it. Controlling the avatars independently on one controller is bizarrely out of place in a game with one mechanic. Thanks to the random nature of level difficulty, most will likely find themselves randomly popping out the second avatar and struggling with controlling each with different joysticks and different buttons to push. L2 and X are for pushing, R2 and Square are for running, and characters can be controlled with either. Worse yet, if one player holds down X, both avatars are pushing now, which could result in unnecessary confusion, especially on hard where you can't rewind.

Screenshot for Super Box Land Demake on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

At the end of the day, Super Box Land Demake would still be a passable first title for an inexperienced gamer. As a first puzzle game, and at its price point, it has plenty of content, and it's fine for what it is. Unfortunately, anyone with any puzzle solving experience at all will find this tedious and frustrating. Ultimately, it can only be recommended to a certain group of people, and once they complete it, it's hard seeing a reason for them to go back.

Developer

lightUp

Publisher

Ratalaika Games

Genre

Puzzle

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Gabriel PVJ Jones, hinchjoie

There are 2 members online at the moment.