I am a weird person. There are things I would point out that some people may be too afraid to mention. Things I could appreciate in spite of what others may perceive of them. Things I may beat down on harder than anybody else. Apparently somebody at Valve is just like me, because for one reason or another, BoxMaker is paving its way to the digital store while an NES emulator is failing to land on the Xbox One. So what is it about this game that’s so special? Well, it is quite literally Super Mario Maker for computers, only barely managing to look like it is its own sort of game!
Wii U owners, tell me this doesn’t look familiar to you.
As you can see, BoxMaker is a game that does more than be inspired. Everything about it is designed to look like Super Mario Maker except not really. That includes the visual design, which is at least pretty nice. The backgrounds have a pleasant vibe to them, and everything is easy to identify. It all looks good and clean. The title screen graphic is also pretty commendable in its own right.
Eh, it’s sound. The audio aspect is probably the weakest category for this game since it does sound like the music and effects are only there to serve their purposes. There are a couple sound effects I swear to God were borrowed from the Mario series. Aside from that, there’s nothing in particular that stands out from here.
Gee, I wonder how BoxMaker plays. On a serious note, I’m surprised how much is replicated. Not everything from Mario Maker is present, but all of the important stuff is here and accounted for. There’s the really robust and memorable level creation toolset, for one thing. Enemies and level terrain can be placed with ease, and there’s a good variety of stuff to choose from. Sadly, secondary power-ups like an equivalent for the Fire Flower couldn’t make the cut, but the possibilities are still endless. There are millions of different ways a well-crafted level could be created with these assets. If only there actually were any already-made levels to play.
As far as pre-made levels go, there are just small tutorial bits – a far cry from the amount of content from other Steam games with level creation abilities like Tadpole Treble and Doodler. I had to make a few myself to have an understanding of how the game is played. Aside from what Mario‘s taught me, anyway. I do have to give BoxMaker praise for capturing the essence of the platforming gameplay. Heck, one can even make practically the same kind of levels that Super Mario Maker has hosted for a good while. From levels that would feel right at home in a Mario installment to overwhelming gauntlets that could be the banes of anybody’s existences.
It’s just too bad there are limits that can prevent people from going further unless they gain enough experience points. I didn’t like being limited in Super Mario Maker, and I don’t like it here. I don’t believe there’s a limit to how many levels one can put up online for other people to play, but there is a limit on how many can be put up per day. Experience points can unlock other environments such as underground, desert, and lava areas, but why can’t they be available right away?
Limit issues and lack of pre-made levels aside, BoxMaker is a solid recreation of the essence of Super Mario Maker that non-Nintendo owners can have a good time with. Some new elements added for the level creation process would be nice, but what there is is a good amount for people to work with anyway. Online sharing is also always a great aspect for games like these.