Thursday, September 14, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Boxville on PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation4 version of Boxville. This game from developers Triomatica Games was already released on other platforms but recently came to the PS4.

I'm not very good at point and click adventure games, but i'm willing to try them 'cause maybe i'll find one that i enjoy or don't immediately get a guide out for. I wanted to try Boxville because the graphical art style caught my attention. it didn't look like anything i've played before and looked more akin to a stop motion cartoon/movie than a video game.

The Demo starts with a message from the developers saying we're not playing the start as they don't want to ruin the story. that's fine, i have no objections about that. But then they just drop us into a level with no tutorial. you'll hear me complain that if they can add a screen to tell us about not playing the start, then why can't they give us a screen telling us what buttons do what. if we're not playing the tutorial at the start of the game, why can't they put a simple message or diagram showing what buttons do what. they could've put effort to make it accessible.

The video then is mostly me trying out different buttons and being confused. as there's not story context for what we're doing other than go down the city, this didn't feel like a demo for the game. it felt like an escape room. a great looking one for sure. i feel that the demo could've made some allowances to help. like the cursor didn't seem to interact with anything but perhaps it could've pulsed to signal something we can interact with. again, as i didn't know the controls, i was unfamiliar with the items being kept above and it really slowed my progress until i worked that game mechanic out.

The point and click gameplay was mostly logical but it did feel like a couple of times it wanted me to do things a little unexpected but that were perhaps introduced earlier in the game. so at times things went fast and other times things went slow, so slow that it became a tad frustrating.

I'm not sure if it's in the final game, but i had a couple of technical issues where the demo seemed to freeze on me. but the most annoying thing was that the cursor would stay when we moved screens. this often meant it was no where near where i wanted it to be. it would've been soo much better if when the screen changed, the cursor reset it's position to where i was at the very least.

Ultimately, i don't think it's a great demo. it does show off the graphics, but it's not as accessible as it should be and the tech issues and some design choices make the game feel not finished even tho it was released last year on other platforms. Playing this demo does not make me want to play the final game, but i will say that's also in part because i'm not great at point and click adventure games and i didn't really enjoy this one.