Pile Up! Box by Box – Review
Follow Genre: 3D Platformer
Developer: Seed by Seed
Publisher HandyGames
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Pile Up! Box by Box – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Creative puzzlesolving, Relaxing game to play with friends
Bad: Audio can be a tad unbalanced
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Once in a while, it can be fun to play a game with little to no stakes. No high-speed chases or anxiety-inducing puzzles, no difficult boss battles that make your blood pressure rise dangerously, just some clean family fun. As a self-described family-friendly cooperative 3D platformer, Pile Up! Box by Box focuses on easy controls and no frustration for players. The entire game is set up to be perfect for all ages and gamers of different skill levels. The result is a very fun casual experience.

Story

Pile Up! doesn’t have much of a plot, not even for a party game. A short cutscene at the start shows the cute cardboard-themed world our box protagonists reside in. Suddenly an earthquake starts and slowly things look a lot bleaker, with the color draining and a series of portals that lead to other lands being broken, resulting in the residents fleeing in terror. It is up to the player to repair these portals, travel through the different levels, and restore the world to the way it is. Beyond that, there is virtually no backstory to the characters or world.

Graphics

There are no other words to describe this game besides charming and extremely creative. Going with the box theme, the entire world of Pile Up! consists of cardboard constructions, complete with little details such as the scenery being taped together or all creatures being vaguely box-shaped. It gives the game a unique look and sets it apart from others, on top of just being extremely cute. The different worlds all have their own aesthetic and overall there’s nothing to complain about here.

Sound

Pile Up! Box by Box has a decent soundtrack. The tone is kept very upbeat and light, to fit with the overall feel of the game. Sometimes it feels like the sound effects get swallowed up by the music though, which is a bit of a shame. Since the game has no dialogue, we also don’t have any voice acting in the game.

Gameplay

Pile Up! Box by Box is a cooperative 3D platformer, designed to be enjoyed with anywhere between two to four players. Technically speaking it’s also possible to play the game by yourself, but since it’s based on other popular party games and includes a lot of cooperative features, this isn’t recommended. To entice players to tackle the levels together, Pile Up! allows you to seamlessly join and leave the session mid-game, without needing to return to the main menu.

The game has a hub world where you can find the various portals that lead to different levels as well as a store and arcade. Each level is its own sort of open world, letting you explore at your leisure without directing you on where to go. The goal would be to acquire a key that will open the next portal. To do this, you travel through the level solving small puzzles and platforming to your heart’s content. Carrying boxes around and stacking them into towers or staircases is a main mechanic, though you can also climb and carry other players. Aside from being used to reach higher places, boxes can also be used to hold down buttons. Later on, new blocks are introduced, such as bouncy spring blocks that help you jump or boxes that work like grappling hooks.

A fun feature is that the puzzles here don’t have one solid solution. There are always a multitude of ways to get to the next area, especially if you’re playing with others. This means you can have fun experimenting and goofing off. The game also has no penalty for dying, simply respawning you instantly at the start of the area, and you are not limited by any time limits. Overall this makes for a relaxing experience. Those that do enjoy challenging themselves will be glad to know the levels are full of coins and other rare collectibles you can hunt for, some of them quite hard to find. This currency can be spent in the above-mentioned shop to buy new skins for your box to alter your appearance. The arcade can be used to replay the mini-games you unlock in the main levels, such as box ball. Later on, other game modes even get unlocked. All of this leads to a surprising amount of content.

Conclusion

Pile Up! Box by Box is a little gem for anybody looking for casual multiplayer experiences. Thanks to the game supporting local co-op and remote play through Steam, only one copy is required to have tons of fun with your friends, and there’s a lot of little features to enjoy. It really is ideal during these strange times to bring a little joy into your gaming world, so you won’t have to stay boxed in.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Pile Up! Box by Box - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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