Creating a puzzle game is already difficult in itself, but creating one with new mechanics is quite a challenge to human creativity. We can only take our hat off to Patrick Traynor, the creator of this small (but extensive) project that has captivated us and delighted us, offering us a challenge that we can wholeheartedly recommend to any puzzle game lover.
Boxes within boxes within boxes…
The best way to define Patrick’s Parabox is A mixture between sokobanthe classic genre of pushing boxes to solve a puzzle, and maquettethe independent title released about a year ago. This means that we are in a world in which each box contains itself, so if we push or enter one of them, this will be reflected in its projections both inside and outside of them. An incredibly difficult concept to explain in words, but that is understood within two seconds of playing. So much so that there are no tutorials of any kind, leaving players to discover everything for themselves.
The idea is to be able to place each box in one of the boxes drawn on the stage, as well as to finish with our protagonist in its corresponding box, marked with eyes. It’s a tremendously well-executed concept, with surprisingly clever designs that constantly challenge themselves and, consequently, ourselves. It is quite common to enter a new puzzle and think this is impossible, and, after a few minutes trying options, realize that there was a perfectly logical solution before us..
The best thing is that, through an endless amount of levels, Patrick’s Parabox He manages to constantly expand his repertoire. Whether with special puzzles that we will find punctually or delving into their mechanics, there are always new challenges. It’s true that trying to do new things is missed, but when what you do has so many possibilities, we don’t think it’s a big problem either. Also, when you start to see puzzles in which we move inside several boxes at the same time or even when we start playing with infinity, you will be happy to master its mechanics.
To blame him, it would have been nice to have a hint system. There are times when it’s easy to get lost and not even be able to intuit which way to go, and it would be nice to have a small step in the right direction without having to search directly for the solution. We understand the complexity of offering something like this, and, having an option to unlock all the puzzles (and lock them again if we want) it is possible to skip the one that resists us and return to later. In addition, many are optional, and we only have to overcome a number to be able to advance to the next world.
As we said above, Patrick’s Parabox have a large number of levels (more than 350), to which we can also add our own creations. It is difficult to put a specific amount of hours on it, since each player will take more or less to solve the puzzles, but we assure you that there are many, many hours of play here, and that if you are one of those who value games by weight (hours per euro) will be quite profitable for you.
…inside boxes, inside boxes, inside…
Technically, there is not much to comment on. As you can see in the images, it is a game that bets on a minimalist but colorful and very effective design. It does its job perfectly, clearly presenting everything on the screen, so you don’t need anything else. Of course, we’re sure there’s incredible work behind this connected metaverse where all the boxes contain each other, so We do not want to take away from the technical section that, in quotes, is not seen.
Accompanying all this we have a relaxing soundtrack that goes somewhat unnoticed, despite being careful and evolving as the puzzles progress, but which we prefer before strident melodies that pierce your ears while you try to think of the solution. Finally, note that it comes to us with texts in our language. There isn’t much text beyond the menus, but localization work to make it reach as many players as possible is always appreciated.
…of boxes and to infinity
Patrick’s Parabox we liked it very much. In a way, it’s something like Baba is You: a perfect example of how to catch a genre as hackneyed as the sokoban and make of it something new and surprising. If you are interested and you are not very sure, we encourage you to try the demo available on Steam, which contains the first two worlds. If you like what you see, give it a try because we believe it is very worthwhile.
We have performed this analysis with a download code for PC provided by Keymailer.