Review – Box One Presented By Neil Patrick Harris
Website Link – https://boxonegame.com (available exclusively through Target)
Price – $29.99
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
Box One Presented by Neil Patrick Harris is a trivia and puzzling experience that aims to test a single player. Marketed as a “Game for One, Created by One,” Box One looks to take a player on an interactive journey that evolves as they play.
An internet enabled device is required for this experience.
The game is suggested for ages 14+. While the game’s length is a little harder to nail down due to [spoilers], there is about 1-2 hours of actual playtime.
Box One aims to create a memorable and immersive experience, and we fully believe it does just that. It’s clear that Neil Patrick Harris and Theory 11 put a lot of thought and effort into building the narrative experience, wanting players to have numerous wow-moments and to constantly be surprised at what happens next.
Overall, the surprises are well placed and planted. For those more experienced at puzzle boxes or who are more observant, there may be a few instances where it may be tempting to brute force through an area or simply skip ahead, but we suggest playing along and letting the game unfold as intended in order to reap the full rewards and joy of the experience. (However, there are a few time-locked moments and those can be a bit annoying when all you want to do is keep playing and moving forward.)
The physical and digital components of this game are fantastically made. The player should easily feel they got their money’s worth from what’s included in the game box and what is discovered online. The game can be reset and passed on to another person, but the player will need to be careful with components so no wear-and-tear gives anything away too much.
So, Box One hits it out of the park with its narrative, but how are the actual puzzles? The experience does a nice job of allowing puzzles to build up and using the narrative to clue what players will need for their next step. The puzzles are mostly on the easy-to-medium end of the spectrum, but they should still feel like fun parts of a quick paced narrative.
Where Box One’s puzzles shine and in their variety, design, and misdirection/revelations. The clues and puzzle aspects are well placed throughout the game and it should be easy to appreciate the effort of the puzzles from a design perspective. Box One really does take advantage of the components it has to offer. The excellent design and implementation all feed back toward achieving their goal of strong immersion.
For those wondering if Box One truly is only a single player experience: Due its extremely linear nature, Box One does probably work best with a one player, but two players could easily be fine as long as both people don’t mind working together closely. Confetti bought this for Chaos, so she let him play through solo as she watched along. Simply watching was enjoyable, but we saw no real reason why two couldn’t play other than already easier-difficulty puzzles possibly becoming even easier with two people, and the fact that both people would always need to be working on the same puzzle, with the same components.
Box One is a great experience littered with puzzles and cool moments. There is a lot to appreciate in this box for fans of puzzles, Neil Patrick Harris, and memorable gameplay. Box One can be a wonderful gift to new puzzlers, but experienced puzzles should still be able to appreciate the craftsmanship of this game and the journey they will go on.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4.25/5
Averaged Total Rating: 4.33/5