Review: Boxed In

Simple, intuitive and thoroughly addictive.

Sometimes in life it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure. Vanilla ice cream, a walk in the countryside, a nice cold beer after a hard day, or a videogame that’s not convoluted, just straight forward and enjoyable. And that’s what VRFocus has found with Red Chain Games’ first virtual reality (VR) on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (reviewed), Boxed In.

Kind of like a cross between Tetris and Candy Crush, Boxed In is a puzzle title about matching up coloured blocks. Things are straight forward from the off, with Red Chain Games putting you inside a chequered room with all the options plastered on the walls. There are two gameplay modes, Survival and Solitaire depending on how frantic or relaxed you want the gameplay to be, alongside finer gameplay tweaks.

You can change the match mode to a triple line of blocks, or a square formation of four. Whilst the difficulty can be increased by adding more colours, from three for easy up to five if you want a challenge. There’s even the option to change where the blocks are located in the room, whether they’re on the back wall, on the floor or on the ceiling – personally not recommended as you have to crane your neck up all the time.

Boxed In Menus_002_HD

The Solitaire mode was definitely the more preferred of the two, with a massive room full of blocks to delete at leisure. To do this the studio arms you with two guns, one for teleporting around once a few blocks have been cleared and the other for the actual removal process. Boxed In gives you three options, depending on the colour emitted from the gun you can either change a blocks colour, create a new block or push a block if close enough. It’s a system that’s very easy to pick up, and enjoyable fun that’s not particularly brain teasing unless you’re after a high score. Especially satisfying are those moments involving a massive combo early on in the level, watching half the room crumble into dust with just one correct placement.

For more of a challenge then Survival is where you need to be, with a massive wall of never ending blocks that continually make their way from one side of the room to the other, the game only ending if you don’t remove the blocks in time.

Boxed In is one of those pleasurable time wasters like the videogames you play on your smartphone. What it lacks in amazing visuals, convoluted narrative or ground breaking gameplay, it makes up for by having a plucky, no nonsense attitude to VR gaming. It may not be a library essential, yet for its price Boxed In is a great little VR bargain for puzzle fans.

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