Push the Box Free: A pleasant addition to the (Verb) the (Everyday object) game family
Chances are, the sight of green cartoon pigs on a touchscreen device will not be unfamiliar to you. With Push the Box however, your role is somewhat reversed. Many of your pig brethren have been imprisoned and it’s your job to get them out. Instead of various annoyed-looking feathered creatures, you find bloodthirsty wolves guarding their cells and you’ll have to sneak past to get away safely.
What seems to be a straightforward puzzle game involving pushing boxes around to make your way around a stage to the finish eventually becomes a more stealthy affair needing you to time your runs to avoid spikes and wolves. In each level (50 provided in this free version), there are three imprisoned pigs that you can save, and for each one you do, you gain a star plus extra points. This three-star system won’t be a surprise.
Watching my protagonist pig waddle along at an unhurried pace, I can’t help but feel that the game could benefit from a fast-forward button that can be used when you’ve executed a movement. It may not save that much time in the end, but it may irk the player just that bit less.
One thing I admire is that the game continuously introduces new ideas and mechanics every couple of levels to keep things fresh, such as gloves that allow you to move heavier boxes and fans which blow boxes away. However, the level design itself is sometimes quite lacking, with many flabby elements that could be refined and simply removed altogether. To me, the sign of a great puzzle game is that nothing seems to be wasted; everything is (or can be) clean and efficient and you feel creatively involved when completing a level in such a way. Push the Box doesn’t always achieve this. For example, retracting spikes are often nothing more than decorations which slow you down a little, especially if there are no wolves about. These types of elements add little to the game other frustration. I see potential in this product, but the developers should cut out the uninspired filler levels and go for quality over quantity.
Nevertheless, Push the Box is an entertaining if flawed game. The art style is pleasing but nothing extraordinary, reminiscent of popular games like Cut the Rope. While there’s nothing here that breaks the mould in an increasingly clustered genre and certainly not enough to convince me to buy the full product, this free version is worth a go, even if it’s just because you can’t get enough of those green cartoon pigs.
Developers: Maximise Games
Push the Box Promotional Youtube Video