Pile Up! Box by Box is a puzzle platformer that takes place in a world made out of cardboard. It looks fantastic and more importantly, it is a very well made platformer.
The game uses a very simple mechanic of being able to pile up, as well as tear down and sometimes throw, stacks of boxes. The game takes this simple mechanic and uses it in imaginative ways with very creative level design.
One of the many ways the game keeps the mechanic fresh is by introducing new types of blocks, oftentimes tied to the theme of the level. For example, in the aquatic level, you get a frog block that will extend a long tongue and grab objects in front of it when stepped on. The game uses these blocks in conjunction with basic switch puzzles to create new ways to navigate the level.
The difficulty level is just perfect with most puzzles being challenging enough without being frustrating. The game gives you enough freedom where you can sometimes solve the puzzles in unintended ways. If you throw in multiplayer co-op play on top of this, it can turn into a hilariously infuriating time. You can stack and throw your teammates. With great power, comes great responsibility, use it wisely lest friendships end.
The aesthetics of this game are incredible as well. The cardboard world looks very cute and the vibrant colors make the levels pop. Each level has its own theme as well so the game is always changing things up, both in terms of game play as well as art style.
Overall, Pile Up! Box by Box is a game that took me by surprise. It’s a surprisingly well made game and a well designed puzzle platformer. Each level is quite large and has many areas and collectables as well. You can unlock costumes and even arcade games. This game reminds me quite a bit of Mario even though the game play is entirely different. It’s the perfect game for parents to play with their children or for people to play with their friends for a relaxing (or frustrating) time. I, being a loner, played it solo and it was still a great time.