Making Unboxing Great Again
The party game market is vast and there is so much competition. However, because of this, the games that rise above stand out all the more. Guns N’ Boxes is a top down arena style multiplayer shooter that is the epitome of pick up and play. It literally couldn’t be any easier to figure out the controls and menu, and has a nice 16-bit menu style that plays on nostalgia.
Being a shooter, it’s not even that complex an idea, let alone the execution of said idea. However, being in an arena does force the close battles that make these kinds of games so much more exciting, albeit a bit briefer. Its intense action, but no round lasts for very long, so it can be a bit frustrating where whoever hits first wins, although you don’t want a true long term brawl either. There’s a real emphasis on speed in this play style, and to point that out in less than subtle style is the end of the round by time limit, in which giant flame pillars start from the outside of the map and engulf any lazy players in their wake, thus ending the round one way or the other. The rounds themselves may not be long, but you have to play more than a few to really win the match, but since you get points by kills, and not by round wins, this can be either very short or take forever, so I understand the fires at the end.
No shooter would be complete without a grand gallery of weaponry though, and this is the best part of the experience. Every box in the game, and there are TONS of them, has a box or some kind of powerup that unleashes new weaponry upon your enemies. Actually, it’s more fair to say it MUST give you a new weapon, as you don’t have a choice in the matter, and if you have a great gun, then accidentally hit a box and walk over it, you may end up with a useless bit of scrap. It can be annoying when you have a rocket launcher and are reigning down death like your Death’s summer apprentice, when all a sudden you have a weapon that shoots bananas.
Glorious guns aside, there’s a lot to love about the characters chosen for each character, as the artwork and humor are quite good, and while they all play exactly the same, it gives another dimension and an agency to each player to show they are the best. I do wish there was some kind of context or back story to some of these characters, but maybe its funnier to come up with your own. While evident in the character selection screen, the main humor comes from the absolutely ridiculous side of the weaponry. There are hotdog launchers (surprisingly effective), banana guns, rotten tomatoes, along with the various form of normal future weapons you might expect means that you could get anything from any box, and the arbitrary and frantic pace just adds to the madness and the fun. It’s a good party game that’s cheap and easy to play even with casuals, so it’s worth checking out.