How do you describe What the Box? Well, you’re a box, trying to hunt other boxes, in an arena filled with boxes. That’s the easy way. The game speaks for itself, however, if you would like a more lavish definition, it would go like this – What the Box? is an online multiplayer arena shooter, that consists of six competitive game modes, each requiring their own set of objectives for victory within a certain time limit, in either a team or as a single player. Oh, and everyone and everything, are identical square cardboard boxes.
Published by Megastorm Games, this simple but imaginative idea was produced by the capable mind of technical artist and game developer Danial Snd, who has devoted much of his time to creating helpful video tutorials on game development, featuring another one of his creations, Rocket Fist, over on his YouTube channel.
Stealth is key in What the Box? In order to get the jump on the opposing boxes, you need to be swift and have a keen eye for anything out of the ordinary. If you do get shot and still manage to escape, sitting still for a while will help fast track your recovery. Just remember to keep moving, or you’ll risk giving away your position by being labelled as fragile, with red stickers getting slapped all over your light brown exterior. And never forget your trusty box cutter as your backup weapon, for when the battle gets really personal.
While you wait for other players to join a lobby – up to ten – you are able to practice your box cutting skills in a solo shooting mini-game against A.I. opponents – I’ve seen this idea being implemented more often recently. But, if you think doing battle against them is easy, guess again. They will employ the same tactics as you, like hiding in plain sight, waiting patiently for an ambush, or sneak attacks from behind.
As mentioned there are six modes to play over the five maps. These include the standard single player and team ‘Deathmatch’ modes, ‘King of the boxes’, the powerful ‘Juggerbox’, ‘One bullet’ mode for all the snipers out there, and the developers favourite, ‘Capture the tape’. You can tell by now that everything is box themed, including the maps, of which, there are two warehouses and a factory, with the additional recycling plant and stadium map now available within its initial Steam release.
What the Box? had received greenlight status on Steam very quickly, helped in part by the promotions of well-known YouTubers like Jim Sterling. This goes to show how much sway and persuasion that YouTube personalities have when it comes to influencing the industry. In his video, Jim mentions the importance of having a well-designed page and content available. This helps to show potential consumers that some thought and effort has been put into the game, and I couldn’t agree more.
Daniel has been working hard on fixing bugs and adding new features constantly, and I also have to mention the efforts of Thiago Adamo on the games soundtrack. His humorous box theme will get stuck in your head for days. And if you have ideas to improve the development of the game, report bugs, or would just like to show your admiration, you can leave this feedback on the What the Box? subreddit accessed from the games menu screen.
It will be interesting to see how far this arena box shooter can expand, and I hope its success further drives more creative content from Daniel in the future. It is a simple idea that is very well executed, and one thing for sure, with your new heightened sense of paranoia from playing hours of this game, you’ll never turn your back on a box again!
What the Box? is available now on Steam with a 20% discount. You can find it here.
Tim Pearce is a freelance journalist and contributor to PN2. Go say hi over on MeatBaitMedia!