I have no idea what I actually think about Pile Up! Box by Box. It is a strange game that is neither compelling to play nor one I was in a rush to put down. It ticks many boxes (pardon the pun) and feels a safe effort, yet somehow seems to miss that certain something.
You have a game that is essentially a 3D puzzle platformer that can be played solo or co-op. You are a box in a cardboard world, and you must work through the individual levels to finish your adventure.
There is nothing spectacular or new with Pile Up! Box by Box, but it is certainly well crafted and aimed squarely at families to play together. It is as simple to play with a non-gamer or a young child as the LEGO games are. I played a fair amount with my 4-year old, who really enjoyed her time with it. Despite me doing a lot of the heavy lifting (sorry again about accidental puns).
There is something very Tearaway about the Pile Up! Box by Box’s visual style, but I think it lacks that punch due to it being something we are a bit more used to seeing now. However, it does look lovely, and it keeps the game feeling light and fun.
Quite often, with co-op games, the controls can get in the way of one party enjoying their time. Either too complicated for littles ones or too simple for experienced gamers. So despite Pile Up! Box by Box going down the simple route, I found that it was still enough that I could enjoy my time whilst only needing to stop a couple of times to remind Edith of what buttons did what. So well done to the devs for getting a good balance there.
Another thing that a family focussed game needs to do is make sure progression is balanced too. I have played games to find a perfect solution to progress, which renders it a chore to play with young gamers. So Pile Up! Box by Box requires you to think a bit about how you solve certain puzzles and allows you multiple ways to progress, never one requiring pinpoint perfection. Again handy for playing with a 4-year-old.
Honestly, on my own, I don’t think I would have got much enjoyment from Pile Up! Box by Box, but playing it with Edith was a complete joy. I allowed her the time to work things out, stepping in when I had to and working as a team. This is a game that does something others find almost impossible. Being fun for all, without insulting the intelligence of any of the audience.
Gove Pile Up! Box by Box a shot if you have a family to join in with, but not one for an experienced lone gamer, unfortunately. Available on Steam for £12.99 from developers Seed By Seed.