I went into this with low expectations and thought it was just another throw away Steam game with a dumb concept, but the more I watched, the more I saw the potential and humor.
Developers Mega Storm Games have taken the ridiculous concept of playing as a simple box, and placing it in a hardcore PVP deathmatch game. Essentially, What The Box? offers a few game modes from standard shooting games, such as your standard PVP deathmatch, King of the hill and a Juggernaut style game mode. However, there is also a game mode where you only get one bullet to kill your enemy, and the only way to get more bullets is by getting successful kills. If you happen to miss your one shot, you can also use your box cutter knife to earn a few kills, but the knife is always visible once you take it out.
This now brings us to the main concept of the game. You are inside of a box factory, you play as a box, all the other players play as a similar box with up to 10 players per game, there are also non-player boxes scattered all around the factory. I think you can imagine where this is going.
As long as you don’t move or pull out your weapon, it is impossible to tell a player box from a standard prop box, and that is exactly what makes What The Box? so brilliant and hilarious. You can jump on top of another box and just stand still and it becomes the ultimate camouflage as you blend in with all the other boxes in the stage.
This now also creates a sense of paranoia because you could be hiding right next to an enemy box and never know it. I think it is safe to say that this game would make Solid Snake proud with its effective use of box hiding.
Furthermore, What The Box? also has it set up where the boxes within the stages are procedurally generated and scattered about the rooms randomly, so every time you play the game the prop boxes are never in the same place twice and you can also customize the levels a bit to ad a bit more variety; this concept allows you to replay the same levels over and over again and takes away the ability to memorize the box placement to get easy kills.
It’s a simple concept, but I have to admit that I see the appeal of how this game could become a lot of fun and how it becomes the ultimate stealth game of patience and assassination. As long as you don’t blow your cover it would be almost impossible for an enemy player to spot you out among the other boxes. Take a look at the gameplay teaser trailer that I linked down below so you can see exactly how the game works in action.
If you are interested and would like to see more, you can head on over to the Steam Greenlight page to read more about additional features and cast your vote to help it become a Steam game.