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Boxes: Lost Fragments Review

Boxes: Lost Fragments Review

Boxes: Lost Fragments is a point-and-click puzzler that effortlessly taps into child-like curiosity. The kind of inquisitiveness that only a new toy can excite, as you try every mysterious lever and button to see what happens. Or the kind of guessing you’d do when you shake a perfectly wrapped birthday present before opening it and seeing what’s waiting inside. Big Loop Studios has captured that same sort of wonder, filling Boxes with an overflowing amount of gears, dials, keys, and more to twist, turn, and slide until you reach the mystifying centre of each uniquely designed box.

Mixing escape room and hidden-object gameplay, Boxes is very similar to Big Loop’s previous title, Doors: Paradox, but it’s even more like The Room series from Fireproof Games. In it, you’re a thief whose latest target is a lavish mansion, but instead of getting in and out quickly with your spoils, you need to solve several puzzle boxes as you try to find your way to freedom and answers. There’s more to the story, involving a figure named Aurora and dark matter energy, which unravels through notes you find as you work your way through each level. I can’t say the plot is very interesting, unfortunately; it never becomes more than a paper-thin tale, but the good news is, you can definitely enjoy Boxes without paying much attention to it.

boxes lost fragments box models

The game has five chapters for you to complete with each one connected to a floor of the mansion. To progress, you’ll need to collect a token that will only be revealed once you complete a floor-wide environmental puzzle, which requires placing four special fragments in their appropriate spots. How do you get those four fragments? Well, by retrieving them from boxes, of course.

Each box comes with its own set of locks, mechanisms, and micro-puzzles. You’ll rotate your view, zoom in and out, and interact with items all by clicking. As you work towards unlocking the box, you’ll collect useful objects like keys, gears, and power sources, which sometimes require you to click on them in your inventory to investigate them further in order to discover an even smaller item hiding somewhere inside. I quickly figured out that it’s worth clicking on everything imaginable because something might not look like it’s interactable when it is. But the nice thing is that once you discover that a lock may be hiding on the bottom corner of a box, you’ll know to check there again in later chapters.

boxes lost fragments puzzle solving

The level of creativity that went into designing every nook and cranny of these boxes is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Each one embodies a different visual theme, which affects what kinds of obstacles and items you’ll find in them, and even better, they’re all just gorgeous to look at. Plus, there’s always more to discover just when you think you’ve unlocked it completely.

I love the consistent feeling of surprise playing Boxes gives me, but with that said, it’s not the same type of surprise that I’d get from more difficult puzzlers. This game falls in the realm of hidden object games with light puzzle-solving elements, testing your ability to notice tiny details more so than anything else. It’s a much more relaxed experience than one might think it’d be, which I definitely didn’t mind; but if you go into this expecting a tough challenge, you’ll be disappointed. In fact, many of my “aha!” moments simply came from discovering that I could click on a certain part of the box or drag an inconspicuous lever. It’s delightful when you spot those small things to interact with, but if you prefer coming up with out-of-the-box solutions that take more effort, Boxes might not be for you.

boxes lost fragments items

Additionally, most micro-puzzles you’ll find on each box range from easy to moderate difficulty, whether you’re matching symbols on a lock or adjusting the pressure of a steam engine. However, if you do find yourself stumped, Boxes has an excellent hint system in that it guides you to the next place you need to click, but doesn’t necessarily give anything away when it comes to puzzle solutions. You’re also able to skip puzzles entirely without any penalty.

I found so much about Boxes to be satisfying, from the way rotating feels like weightless gliding to the way the moody and magical atmosphere envelops you. The sound effects really stole the show, though. Everything had a distinct sound, no matter if it was the small turn of a key or the electrical hum of a whole box powering up. I can still hear the light creak of an opening container and the subtle transition sound when you’re zooming in and out of spaces. The sound design was just lovely.

boxes lost fragments jukebox box

Its runtime is pretty short, ranging between three and five hours, but if you’re looking for a low-key puzzler for a cosy gaming session, Boxes: Lost Fragments fits the bill. While it doesn’t deliver too difficult of a challenge, the beautifully crafted puzzle boxes, soundscape, and atmosphere make it worthwhile.

8.50/10 8½

Boxes: Lost Fragments (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Boxes: Lost Fragments is a beautiful, wondrous puzzler. Setting aside the thin narrative and short runtime, the creativity and attention to detail are remarkable.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alyssa Rochelle Payne

Alyssa Rochelle Payne

Staff Writer

Alyssa is great at saving NPCs from dragons. Then she writes about it.

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