Art Style: Boxlife, like the last game I talked about, is a short puzzle concept game with a mix of set-piece puzzles and random input puzzles. This time, though, the mixture is treated in a more traditional fashion, by separating the two gameplay ideas into into two separate modes.

The set-piece mode is rather good, I think. One sign of a good puzzle game is: if I were lying in bed sick with a fever, would my brain be constantly making up puzzles for this game and testing me on them? Fortunately, I didn’t get to test that exactly (I was sick late last week, but I’d mostly stopped playing Boxlife before then), but my brain was happy enough to spend time folding boxes in the shower.

The random part of the game wasn’t, to me, nearly as successful. One flaw is that it’s (I assume) really hard to create random infinitely growing layouts that people can actually manage to cut up into strips of paper of the appropriate shapes without leaving a remainder. So the game gives up on that, and instead lets you discard excess bits at a point penalty. Which is not particularly elegant (and, in general, I don’t support points as a scoring mechanism in puzzle games: the valid scoring mechanisms are completion, time, and distance), though they do try to make up for that by giving you adorable little bits to add to a house scene as you earn more points.

With this game, I’ve finished the 10 dollars of DSiWare credit that came with the purchase of the system. My guess is that I’ll probably buy more DSiWare eventually (and, in fact, that what I’ll buy will be more Art Style games), but I’ve got enough else to play that it will take me a while to get around to doing so.

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