Push the Box Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Push the Box
Genre: Puzzle, Board Game, Arcade, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: esloutions| esolutions Nordic
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £7.09 | EU € 7,89 | AUD $11.85 | CAD $11.76 | USD $8.89
Release Date: 4h April 2020

Review code provided with many thanks to esolutions Nordic

Know your Routes

All video games have been made possible thanks to their origins, some may say that this was the arcade game space war from 1962. Others further back to the creation of computers as a platform. Or to owing a lot of their success to board games, which pre-date video games by hundreds of years and are still going strong to this day. Some might say these two forms of entertainment influence each other. I appreciate video game routes which is why I love retro gaming. Today for review we have Push the Box is a game that doesn’t look very inspirational on the surface but is based on the Japanese puzzle game from 1981 Sokoban (which means warehouse keeper). Where the aim was to move crates around a warehouse into the right location. But does such a simple game like Push the Box hold a place in video games today. Lets find out.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
get ready to push

The Ballard of Gerald

Push the Box keeps things plain and simple. You are a man who since he wasn’t given one, I’m going to name Gerald. Gerald has awoken in a maze of which there appears to be no escape. His only chance is to solve the puzzles in each room in the hope one will eventually lead to escape. Through the trials Gerald learns how he needs to deal with his real world problems like work, family and friendships. Upon finishing the game he wakes to find it was all a dream but the experience has taught him many lessons which he takes with him into sunnier days. Of course I made all this story up that’s just how my mind likes to roll sometimes.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
Gerald must solve these puzzles to escape

Push not Pull

Gerald is placed in single screen levels where your job is to push the boxes onto the switches. In the description on Nintendos website of the game you are advised ‘remember that boxes must be pushed and not pulled’ which made me laugh. The controls are simple and you can either use the buttons or touch controls in handheld mode to solve the puzzle, I favoured the buttons as always but that’s my preference. You finish the level and then move on. Each room requires logical thinking on how to manoeuvre the boxes in the right ways. Some rooms felt really simple to solve and were finished quickly. Others I was stuck on for several minutes at a time. Expect your brain to be tested. Making mistakes is fine as the game allows you to undo mistakes you make with the touch of a button and allows you to rewind move by move, if you need it. Or you can just flat out restart the level which is often the button that got the heaviest workout in my playthrough, as I often made a huge mess of the boxes. One of my favourite moments was solving puzzles together with my wife despite this being only a single player game.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
You can get a high score if you want

Easter Eggs?

Should you really struggle the game will show you the solution to the puzzle. Unfortunately this only unlocks after an hour of starting the level. Within which time you will probably have figured out how to finish the level. I tested this feature to see what happens. The good news is that the clock continues to run down even when the Switch is in standby mode, so you could a grab a coffee and come back later which is sensible for this type of game anyway. When the feature does unlock you’re given a top down view of the screen which shows you how to solve the puzzle move by move. This may also act as a slight Easter egg as the graphics for this looked very similar to Sokoban the game this title takes inspiration from. It’s a shame very few people will see this.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
A possible Easter Egg to Sokoban

Plain and Simple

The graphics are plain and well a bit boring. All the levels look the same, the boxes look the same and Gerald wears that darn red T shirt all the way through. All of this while a boring piano melody plays in the background. I actually looked up songs with ‘push’ in the title to play in the background instead. The winners were Push by Matchbox Twenty, Push by Avril Lavigne and Push the Button by Sugarbabes. It feels like minimal effort has been put into the look of this game and it appears to be more like a student project that a game for retail release. This is probably the games biggest issue and will likely be while many people will pass it by while scanning the eshop.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
The graphics are boring

It goes on and on

You get a lot of bang for your buck in this game. There are literally hundreds of puzzles! The game also offers a score based system. The highest score being acquired by solving each puzzle in as few moves as possible which is recorded in the menu. I didn’t see the draw to this since my main aim was to solve the puzzles. There is quite the wasted opportunity here. Push the Box could have taught gamers about the history of Sokoban, something I really enjoyed looking up myself. But is a road disappointingly not taken.

Push the Box LadiesGamers.com
there are plenty of puzzles to solve

Should I Push or Should I go

I found Push the Box quite hard to review. On one hand this game is very simple doesn’t do anything to make it particularly stand out from the crowd for a rather high price. On the other hand games like this are important. There is an audience for puzzle games like this. On doing some research I came across a young child showing off how proud he was for solving puzzles in a similar looking game to this. This lead me to think this game probably will make some people very happy. But it’s hard to ignore that there are lots of games like this for free on IOS as well. If you need that puzzle fix this is maybe worth getting on sale. Otherwise you might as well ‘Push.’ Just remember not to pull.

Final Verdict: I’m not Sure

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