Sloppy Tetris with a monkey on a vine
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 29 Jun 2017, tested on Samsung SM-G920F Galaxy S6
Neat graphics, interesting plot, simple controls
Unbalanced levels, bores you really quickly, low quality animation
Boxen for Android takes all the fun and iconic charm of Tetris, and throws it out the window to deliver a modestly crappy knockoff that I'm hard pressed to call fun, though it is a tad innovative. Basically, you're following the same mechanics of Tetris, in that, geometric shapes fall from above and land below. But unlike Tetris, where the objective is to arrange all the blocks and shapes neatly, this one piles everything into a mound of rubble, and keeping everything neat and tidy looking isn't even an afterthought.
The play involves bouncing a monkey, yes, I said monkey, up and down from a bouncy elasticized vine, grabbing blocks from above, and trying to place them into, well, a pile below. Rather than creating neat horizontal rows which then disappear, you're just trying to stack a cluster of similarly colored blocks into groups, which then causes them all to disappear. There’s some novel power ups along the way, like a sticky substance that makes clusters of blocks stick together, and other power ups that make blocks explode. It all sounds so much better than it plays.
The main problem with this one, is the utterly crap controls. I don't know why developers equate shoddy accuracy with challenging fun, but here it is, once again. What if Nintendo made Mario with crap controls; would it still have been a monster hit? Probably not. Scratch that - definitely not. The graphics are sort of interesting because they look like artist's sketches and deserve to be part of a better game. The sounds flat out sucked and are the stuff mute buttons are made of. The animation isn't half bad, but the physics are sloppy.
Boxen could be so much better than it is. Sadly, it is destined to be uninstalled and forgotten.