• Ben Thompson

Review: Boxed In

Reviewed on: PS4

Publisher: Red Chain Games

Developer: Red Chain Games

Available on: PS4/PS5

Boxed In, I'll admit only recently hit my radar very recently. By first look most people would probably just brush it off as this cheap looking game and not bat an eyelid which at first glance I did, partner that with the fact I am by no means a fan of puzzle games so why would I want to play it? Well after watching a few videos and finding out it can be played in VR I decided to give it a go and boy am I glad I did.

Boxed In is a very simple game. You shoot, drop and push different coloured blocks to match up a row or cluster of blocks to eliminate them. There are two game modes available which vary completely in difficulty. You have Solitaire which is a chilled out fare where you can take your time and free of stress because the blocks don't move. Then you have Survival which is where the real fun and tense pressure comes into play.

In Survival the blocks slowly move towards you, meaning you have to be quick and decisive of which blocks to eliminate before you ultimately get boxed in. This gives the game the incredible replay-ability aspect of ''just one more go'' until you find you've been playing for two hours straight. It gets very tense when the blocks are getting close and you're franticly thinking what is the best option to get you out of impending doom, which by the time you've made the decision it's either the wrong one or too late. These tense situations can be made even worse by having the option to play with the blocks rising below you or from above, these options really do make the game more challenging (albeit getting an aching neck) in the process so I found myself reverting back to normal coming at me approach.

The gameplay is superb for such a simple game. It can be played in a traditional sense but it comes alive when played in the aforementioned VR mode. It has Dual Shock, Move and AIM support, all of which play very well but it's with the AIM controller where it's played best. It's fun just erratically running and jumping about the room trying to quickly dispatch of the blocks to go for the high score and not succumb to a quick demise. The controls are fluid and the pace of the game is just right. For a budget game to incorporate so much peripheral support is awesome as well. There are some more higher profile VR efforts out there that don't offer that variety or do it as well as Boxed In does.

The only real gripe I have with the game is the soundtrack is just one repeating track. The track does what it needs to well, but once you've heard it several times on a long session it does grate if you let it. Most of the time you'll be too focused on the task at hand to really be paying attention to the music though so it's not a major issue.

All in all, Boxed In is a simple but great little addictive puzzle game that can be picked up and played for a quick 5 minutes, that could potentially turn into hours. I will go blue in the face telling people to check this game out, especially if they own a VR headset. It's also dirt cheap at a fiver asking price in the UK ($5.99 and €5.99 in the US and EU respectively) which is less than some people pay for a coffee in the morning. Cut out the caffeine for one day and check this out because you won't be disappointed.