Pile Up! Box by Box – Review

It's a boxful of fun!

pile up box by box cover
Release Date
August 17, 2021
Publisher
Handy Games
Developer
Seed by Seed
Platform
PS4
Reviewed on
PS5
Review Copy Provided By
Dead Good Media

Pile Up! Box by Box is a family friendly game that features 4 plain boxes on a grand adventure to save the box world. Let’s check out this game and see if it’s worth the buy.

Pile Up! Box by Box is a 3D platformer puzzle adventure where you and up to 3 of your friends can play cooperatively to solve puzzles. This is a family friendly game as it focuses on elements of puzzle solving and platforming. You don’t fight enemies or have boss encounters unlike other games.

Although Pile Up! Box by Box is a coop game, this game can’t actually be played online with your buddies from all over the world. Unfortunately, the game only has local co-op. It would have been fun being able to play it with a friend from across the world. Maybe in the future perhaps?

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In this world of boxes, you also don’t really die or get the “Game Over” screen. You simply just respawn if you ever trip over and jumped off a cliff. The game relies heavily on exploration and the notion of “trial-and-error” which is really cool if you play with your kids.

The game will give you the option to play the Tutorial so you can get your away around in the game without trouble. You can of course just skip it and discover the mechanics by yourself. The gameplay is pretty simple and easy to understand that any kid can surely figure them out. I was a little disappointed that the boxes don’t “roll” if boxes can roll. They just sort of slide their way everywhere.

However, the controls are one of the things I have found to be frustrating at times. Because you’re a box you’re basically bound by the 4 corners of your entirety. You would think at first, well that should make it easy to control then since you’re only going to worry about the four directions. What’s problematic about this is that this is a 3D world, and because of that it means the direction is not just 4 but it’s basically a full circle direction.

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This becomes problematic when you’re trying to reach for a box on the opposite side of the area with a frog box and the frog box is facing askew. You will then spend most of your time trying to nudge the frog box in the right direction. Why not pick it up you say? Sure you can pick it up and try to drop it in a direction you are facing. However, since you can also turn 360 degrees, you could also end up facing askew.

There are four areas that you can unlock. Each of them having different puzzles to solve and special box items for you to use. The special box items are the ones that makes this game unique. These boxes are the spring box, the frog box, the bomb box, the hover box and the water box.

The spring box lets you jump into higher places in cases where you don’t have any regular box lying around for you to jump on. The frog box lets you get to hard to reach places but in a different way. Stepping on the frog box activates a tongue that will stick to surfaces like boxes and specific areas. You can use it to grab boxes from far away as well.

The bomb box, as the name suggests, is a bomb that detonates once you either step on it or pick it up. Don’t worry, you don’t get hurt when the bomb explodes but I can’t say the same thing for the objects in the game.

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The hover box is a special box that when stepped on will allow you to hover for a short period of time. This is very useful in small gaps and hard to reach places when a spring box or the frog box isn’t available. The water box is a special box that allows you to take out fire. The water only comes out if you step on it though.

There are also collectibles laid out across each area for you to find. One of these collectibles can unlock arcade machines that you can play with a friend or two. There are four arcade machines for you to unlock, one from each area. The Arcade Machine is the only time you are playing against your friend not with them. However, the variety of each game actually isn’t that impressive. I wish there was more variety other than just shooting or chasing stuff around.

You can also collect box coins that you can use to purchase new skins for your box friend. There’s only a few skins available to purchase but what was disappointing was the lack of customization. I wish you could change more than just the skins. I wish you could add other things like hats, or different eyes or big smiley mouths.

Each of the area has platforming puzzles for you to solve. What’s really great about this game is that it will force you to think outside the box (no pun intended). The puzzles are not always plain and simple to solve. Sometimes you’d have to think harder and think of all the possibilities and ways you can solve it.

The music reflects the overall vibe of the game. The cheery, fun and jingle-like music makes the whole world welcoming. That’s why it gives that feeling that you are not in danger in this game. It’s really meant for you to just have fun and relax.

Overall, Pile Up! Box by Box is fun game that you can play with friends and family. It’s a game that lets you bond without having to be pressured in playing the game as it’s very forgiving and very engaging. If you want to have some family fun, this game is right for you.

pile up box by box cover
Pile Up! Box by Box – Review
Score Definition
It’s a fun game that has its few kinks that can easily be ignored.
Pros
A fun puzzle adventure for the whole family
Puzzles are interesting and challenging
A seamless couch coop experience
Cons
Lacks customization options
Arcade Games needs more variety
Direction controls can be frustrating at times
8
Great
Chief Editor