Mystery Box: Evolution Logo
Mystery Box: Evolution Icon
Mystery Box: Evolution

Developer: Ocean Media

  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: Jan 18, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    Featuring a style of puzzling reminiscent of the likes of The Room, Evolution comes across as a clunkier cousin

    Given the portability and the touchscreen capabilities of the Switch, it’s not much of a surprise that it has been a port-friendly system for many mobile phone and tablet-style games that typically appeal to the more casual crowd. Granted, people tend to think of dedicated gaming systems as being meant for more robust fare, but even people who like intensity of some kind need to take a moment to relax and slow down between sessions. 

    One notable and more popular port that has come over is The Room, and then some of its off-shoots as well. Most often using an intricate box composed of pretty elaborate puzzles on each of its sides, The Room did an excellent job of making a strong impression with the quality of its presentation, the varied challenges of its puzzles, and just the general quality of the entire experience. Inevitably, with that success the game invited imitators, and that’s where we land with Mystery Box: Evolution.

    Typically when you try to take on the originator of an idea, your goal is either to do what it did, but better, or to deviate in some key way from the formula in order to put a new spin on the experience. I can’t say that Mystery Box: Evolution does either though, so instead it feels a bit too nakedly like an attempt to cash in on either the crowd who has already beaten all of those titles, and are searching for something similar, or to simply siphon off some people by appearing to be very similar. That isn’t to say that the game is terrible by any means, just in terms of production values, overall mechanics for control, and the ingenuity of the puzzles it just feels like it comes up pretty short across the board by comparison.

    The thing is, as much as I would say The Room and its kin are clearly a step above Mystery Box and its own siblings, it’s also quite playable and makes for a reasonable challenge in places. Some of the puzzles, as you could expect, can feel like a bit of a stretch to figure out at first, and some of them feel painfully easy, but regardless of that fact the variety is still admirable and keeps things engaging if you like varied puzzles that often take moving between multiple sides to resolve. In the end it isn’t all that bad a game, it’s just not a great one either.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.2]

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