Blackbox :: game review

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I love puzzle games. Puzzles are the most entertaining thing in the world to me, especially rebus puzzles and ones that are harder to solve. Jigsaw puzzles do nothing for me.

On the app store, there is a lovely game called Blackbox. This simple game by Ryan McLeod has a very nice aesthetic with boxes for each puzzle which light up with each level completed. There is a wide variety of puzzles that all require different tasks to be completed, which all have to do with your system settings, rather than moving things around on-screen.

A few of my favorite puzzles are the super meta peach one (which is super meta, by the way), all the ones in the Push Pack, and the super weird purple one that you need to investigate to find. The peach one requires you to use safari to enter commands such as BLACKBOX:// and BLACKBOX://(emoji) and overall, the puzzle is super complex and weird. The purple one I mentioned is that you need to drag the map far out to a few times, accompanied by some witty lines of dialogue, to unlock. The entire push pack is super witty, and, as the name entails, requires push notifications, but my favorite must be either the red one or the indigo one. If you download the app, you will know what I mean.

Another thing I really love about the game is the community. If you didn’t know, Discord is an app for gamers to communicate with others who have similar interests as each other, or for friends to just have friends. Connected to this app is a discord server with tons of brilliant people who have finished the game and the person who developed the game himself. You can get the solutions to the qr code puzzles using the Discord. You can ask for tips, or help give them out. You can even become a completionist (a special role in the discord server) and get special perks.

Some of the people on the Discord chat were willing to share with me the reasons why they love the game. @RileyT56 on discord said that, “The puzzles blow my mind with how ingeius they are, and they’ve taught me a ton of stuff about my phone that I didn’t know about.” Another user, @xav178, elquoently said, “The game permeates much more than it appears. Innovative puzzles utilise almost every aspect of hardware and software in a way that is unmatched by any other game. It is incredibly rewarding to figure out how to solve a puzzle that has left you stumped, and leave you wanting more. Seeing the board fill with lights give a sense of accomplishment, and the cheeky notes along the way add to the experience. Toying around with Blackbox, inside and out of the game, go to show the sheer amount of creativity and work that has been put in. The simplistic design is inviting to new and old players alike, and allows anyone to feel welcome, no matter the skill level. Blackbox is a game like no other that requires players to think and take advantage of subtle hints in order to progress, and when they do, it is incredibly satisfying.” Many other users agreed.

Overall, this game is super creative and challenging, and really makes you think. It is complex yet simple, and makes you think super hard on so many levels. I’ve been playing the game for a while, and I still need four more boxes/two more challenges! Personally, I believe that this game has the best kind of simplicity. It is minimalistic, yet encompasses so many ideas that I can hardly dare to describe it. This game is beautiful and deserves so much praise and attention, none of which it gets.

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