Bye-Bye BoxBoy! Review

March 24, 2017

In a month where we’ve seen such massively hyped releases such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Mass Effect Andromeda, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the Nintendo Switch console itself, it was a welcome change when Bye-Bye BoxBoy! appeared in the office. Developed by HAL Laboratory – yes, that legendary game developer responsible for such games as Kirby, Kirby and Kirby (amongst many others), Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is the final game in a trilogy of BoxBoy titles, and a conclusion to the story. The games actually play out very similarly to the original Kirby games with the puzzle-solving 2D side-scrolling challenges, however instead of being a cute little pink ball of squishiness you’re a square box named Qbby (pronounced Cubey).

At its core, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! involves Qbby creating several boxes in different directions in order to overcome obstacles. The game has a fairly linear learning curve, with the first few worlds being pretty straight forward to even a novice puzzle solver, however with more than 180 stages across more than a dozen worlds, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! becomes quite challenging towards the end. You’re not just limited to making boxes of course, there are special types of boxes you’re given throughout the game, however you can’t just use these special boxes whenever you want, they are only in certain stages. These include a rocket box which shoots straight up, a teleport box which allows you to travel further than jumping as well as through lasers which would otherwise kill you.

What separates Bye-Bye BoxBoy! from its predecessors is that each world has a stage where you need to rescue Qbaby. This cute little box relies on Qbby to make it from the start of a stage to the end, and although most stages don’t actually have you interacting with Qbaby, you’ll find that your actions directly affect Qbaby’s progression. These levels felt quite Braid-esque, which is definitely a great thing to see in a puzzle platformer.

Bye-Bye BoxBoy! isn’t a terribly hard game, in fact it’s quite generous in that if you die it will instantly respawn you at your most recent puzzle. There’s no time limit, and the only thing holding you back from progressing is your own creativity, and thinking outside of the box (yes I went there). There is always a logical way to progress through each puzzle, but if you get stuck there is a hint system in place to keep you progressing. Each hint will cost you one Nintendo coin (those handy coins you earn while walking around with your 3DS) and fully reveals the exact way in which you need to create the boxes.

At the end of each stage you’re rewarded with the in-game currency which you can use to purchase items in the store such as costumes, music, comics and a few unique challenge worlds which are separate from the main story. If you want to maximise your purchasing, there are crowns you can collect in each stage which will give you a “perfect finish”, rewarding you with more currency. Much like the stages themselves, the crowns become progressively more difficult to collect, but there is no harm in not collecting all of them unless you’re an avid collector of costumes and music. In fact, we found you’re given more than enough money throughout the game to buy the items that might interest you. There wasn’t really much purpose in buying every costume, particularly as you can only wear one at a time and the coolest ones come from Amiibo.

Yep, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! finally introduces Amiibo to the series. Kirby, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee and King Dedede all reward you with unique costumes in-game, and that includes the base Amiibo and also the Super Smash Bros. series Amiibo. There’s also an exclusive Qbby Amiibo available on the Nintendo ebay store, and players who own the original two games will be rewarded with an additional combined 18 costumes (10 from the first, 8 from the second) to use in Bye-Bye BoxBoy!

Bye-Bye BoxBoy! Isn’t going to win any awards for its graphics, but that’s not to say they aren’t spot-on perfect for the theme of the game. You can trust that HAL Laboratory was capable of achieving the graphical elements that they set out to achieve in Bye-Bye BoxBoy!, and you’ll notice each stage has been mathematically created to ensure you get the most out of each puzzle, and that you do said puzzles exactly how the developer intends for you to do them. There’s a lot of mathematical logic in Bye-Bye BoxBoy! given the boxes are all identical in size and shape, so the graphics of each stage need to line up perfectly with each puzzle and thankfully they do.

At just $7.50AUD, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! is a bit of a no-brainer. It’s not going to offer you countless hours of gameplay but it is a kick-ass puzzle platformer that rivals the best of its genre, and a great addition to anyone’s Nintendo 3DS digital library. HAL Laboratory have created an amazing trilogy of games which will surely be available in a bundle soon, and if you’re still not sold on the game, you can try out the free BoxBoy series demo available now on the Nintendo eShop, which features an assortment of stages from all three of the games.


- Really fun puzzle solving
- An indie-style series from a legendary developer
- Easy, rewarding learning curve


- It all ends too soon

Overall Score: