Parents' Guide to

Pile Up! Box by Box

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Teamwork-focused puzzler hit by tech issues, limited play.

Pile Up! Box by Box Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This puzzle platformer offers an instant shot of simple, wholesome fun, but it's ruined by technical flaws and, aside from multiplayer matches, limited play. Pile Up! Box by Box offers a relaxing experience that delivers exactly what it advertises: a relaxing experience. While playing solo is just fine, players may find themselves wishing for teammates when attempting Pile Up! alone. That's because while puzzle difficulty is scaled depending on the number of players, solo mode isn't engaging enough to keep more experienced gamers interested in the long run. Additionally, it isn't possible to play any of the arcade mini-games with fewer than two players. Solo mode is a great choice for those younger audiences looking to dip their toes into the platformer genre. All the basic conventions are there, and it's much less likely that new players will get frustrated or stuck on any particular puzzle than they would in a different game. But experienced gamers looking only to play solo might not be enthralled with Pile Up! past a few hours.

Another issue: It's rather difficult to navigate the menu and invite others to play when using a keyboard and mouse. While it's perfectly fine that this is a game designed to be used with a console-style controller, it's an odd choice to have the initial release be on Windows, especially when Steam's remote play, which allows players to join from their own devices rather than sharing the same screen, doesn't seem to work. As a multiplayer game, it's difficult to picture multiple adults gathering around a single PC, as well as going to the trouble to connect console-style controllers to their device, just to play this game -- especially when other casual co-op favorites won't ask them to leave the living room couch. Therefore, players might wish to wait for the console releases and add Pile Up! to their Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, or PS4 library as opposed to their computer.

Game Details

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