If you’re a fan of frustrating games and beyond-meta challenges, then undoubtedly you will have heard of Blackbox. In a nutshell, it’s a puzzle game which uses iPhone features in ways you didn’t even know you could, bending your mind and ruining your life as you play. It is definitely one of the best puzzle games out right now, so let’s get into this review!
The aim in Blackbox is to turn on all the ‘lights’, which are little squares with rounded
edges. To light them up, you must complete the puzzle inside of that light. Simple enough,
right? Wrong. These aren’t crosswords or word searches, these are problems solved by literally using your phone. They range from using your camera, your microphone, even to the buttons on the phone itself, not to mention things hidden outside of the app too!
One criticism we do have is that some of the puzzles are actually too easy! For example, there’s a puzzle in which the solution is holding your phone still for a short while. This doesn’t take a huge amount of brainpower to figure out, just a steady hand, and such simplicity takes away from the satisfaction of the solve.
Blackbox features incredibly simplistic, minimalist, graphics. There are no intricate details, (unless you count the puzzles themselves), and most of the designs are made up of simple vectors, which is quite ironic considering the complexity of the game. This gives it a lovely, clean look, so 10/10 for aesthetics!
The colours chosen for each puzzle work great together on the home screen, especially
set against the dark grey background, and make it much nicer to look at, especially when you’ve completed them all!
Now, the animations. Are they good? Yes! Of course, they’re very simplistic, just like the art style, so they fit in perfectly with the rest of the game’s aesthetic. So, they look great, and perform very smoothly. Unfortunately, however, nothing’s perfect, not even the puzzle game by Satan. One improvement we’d suggest would be to optimise their performance on the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c, as they’re not the best they can be, especially when compared to those on an SE or higher.
So, what kind of music can you expect from one of the best puzzle games the App Store has to offer? Nothing! That’s right, Blackbox is as devoid of music as the developer is of emotion! However, what it does have are some lovely little sound effects, so let’s talk about those.
Blackbox has a multitude of different effects, with most of them like a sort of ‘click’ sound. One of the best things about them is that they are very satisfying to listen to, especially the ones that play when you open and close the hints section of a puzzle!
In this particular aspect of the game, we have only one criticism, which is as kind of scratchy sound that plays just after the click effect when you open a puzzle. Of course, this might be an intentional effect, but either way, we feel as though it could be improved by being taken out.
In conclusion, we love Blackbox. It makes for a fantastic puzzle game, and certainly tests your intelligence, making you use your iPhone in ways you couldn’t imagine you could! So, if you have an Apple device, we would highly recommend you go for this app, and convince your friends to as well! Seriously, get your friends to. You’ll understand later.