If you’re looking for a reason to dust off your PSVR and PSVR Aim controller, don’t bother with Solaris: Offworld Combat – check out Boxed In instead.
Boxed In isn’t much to look at, I’ll be the first to admit. To look at the game without playing it, it’s not exactly the most attention-grabbing game out there. These were my thoughts when I watched the initial trailer and I was kind of hoping that our resident VR nut Jeremy would be the one to take review duties. It wasn’t to be and instead, Boxed In fell on me. I’m not down about it, though – quite the opposite, because Boxed In is a brilliant game that’s hiding in plain sight.
Boxed In can be played in VR if you have a PSVR headset, though you can also play in the traditional way. I’ve tried both methods and while I really enjoyed both ways of playing, the traditional way edges it out for me simply because it’s easier to jump in and play. That said, I actually found that playing in PSVR was a lot easier, especially with the PSVR Aim controller.
No matter which way you play, the game is the same, it’s all about personal preference. Strangely enough, I’ve found my preferred way of playing Boxed In is on my PS Vita, because I’m one of the 12 people who still plays the damn thing and one of three that still uses it for remote play.
What is Boxed In? It’s a puzzle game where you shoot, push, and drop different coloured blocks to make a matching line or group, thereby eliminating the blocks from the game. Depending on your chosen settings, the game can be really simple and chilled out, or it can be a chaotic stress-fest. The Solitaire mode gives you infinite time and zero stress, allowing you to run and jump around the game room, moving and shooting blocks as you need to. It’s a nice way to kill five minutes but the real fun comes in the survival mode which is lots of fun, even if it is a bit tense and stressful.
In Survival, the blocks move towards you and you need to eliminate the cubes before they touch the opposite wall. The twist is that you can choose which direction they come from. You can play the standard wall-to-wall, or you can have them coming from the ceiling or from the floor beneath you. This changes the flow of the game because it makes it much more difficult as you can’t push the blocks around until it’s far too late, and if you’re playing floor-to-ceiling, you can’t really get a good overall view, which increases the challenge.
Needless to say, I play using the default wall-to-wall and even then I’m not that good. Nah, I’m just kidding – I’m actually really good at Boxed In and I’ve spent more than a few nights under the covers with my PS Vita remote playing this game when I should have been sleeping. Hence my place on the top of the leaderboards, even placing higher than the game’s creator. Not so humble brag…
Admittedly, there’s not a lot more to Boxed In than what it presents. You have a few different difficulty levels and settings and two game modes, but that’s it. Some may say that’s not enough, but I’d argue it’s exactly the right amount. You don’t play FIFA and wish for a rugby mode, do you? This is a puzzle game and it presents a decent challenge with its puzzle, and it’s one that can be played for hours, especially if you’re trying to chase the high score or collect the fairly doable trophies.
Boxed In PS5, PS4, PSVR Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
Boxed In is a deceptively simple game about matching colours and breaking blocks. It really doesn’t look like much, but trust me, once you’ve played an hour of Boxed In, the next dozen or so will fly as you promise yourself “just one more go.”
- Simple and inviting gameplay
- Really good in VR, even if it does make the game a bit easier
- Has that addictive “one more go” quality
- The music can get old if you spend the entire night chasing the developer’s high score, though that’s probably a very niche complaint…
- In non-VR mode, the ‘feel’ of the aiming could be better
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4, PSVR.