I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for Christmas. Forget the normal reasons — I don’t know if I can keep M and E away from the presents under the tree another day. They’re like these miniature burglars who keep staging these raids of the living room to see what they’re getting. (All I’m getting is too old for this s**t!) That said, I get it. I have my own Christmas tree: this site. I’ve gotten into the habit of checking it for news on upcoming Apple Arcade releases when I’m not chasing off tiny thieves. And this weekend, I spied a shiny new present … one might even say a Wonderbox. (#hardyharhar) Now I’m as giddy as the kids, because this game looks incredible. Here’s the lowdown:
Wonderbox: The Adventure Maker is a genre-bending new game by Aquiris Game Studio, the creators of Horizon Chase. These guys know how to make some stunningly pretty mobile games, and Wonderbox is no exception. The graphics I’ve seen so far are insanely vibrant and detailed. Even the game’s score comes from top talent — namely Eric Chevalier, composer of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. A quick heads-up: it looks like Wonderbox is going to be exclusive to Apple Arcade.
Breathtaking visuals and a sweet soundtrack are just the tip of the iceberg. Wonderbox is a Minecraft-inspired, choose-your-own-adventure mix of gameplay (single-player or multiplayer) and game creation (using the Creator Mode). It combines elements of platform, strategy, and map creation, and it’s suited to all ages — even the building part, which I’ll get to in a sec. As a dad, I’m stoked. M and E are going to LOVE building their own fantasy world, and then inevitably laughing like maniacs as R and I battle our way through it.
This is one of the coolest aspects of this game: there is no single setting or location in Wonderbox. Instead, there’s a bunch of interconnected, individual 3-D dioramas (called “boxes”), each filled with its own unique set of challenges, enemies, puzzles, and goals. The setting has changed every time you open the game — you get a new self-contained world to explore, each with its own unique micro-quest to beat. The challenges are always different from mazes to battles to puzzles to traps. (A huge plus for easily-bored kids!)
Once you get the hang of it, the game’s potential is basically boundless. Switch over to Creator Mode and you can quickly and easily build your own magical boxes with their own adventures: you can craft unique characters, hide treasures, place hazards and bad guys, and design battles. Basically, the developers give you all the tools you need (blocks, characters, and items with preset behaviors) and the rest is up to your imagination. Create, tweak, and link your boxes, and then when you’re ready, publish your masterpiece for the world to play! You can then grab up to three friends (in my case, my lovely wife R and our two kids) and roam your creation together in Party Mode.
So, that’s the world of Wonderbox!. As you and the rest of its players build new boxes, the Wonderbox universe expands, the explorable worlds and adventures multiplying by the day. There’s no set release date yet, but I can’t wait for it to hit Apple Arcade. Builder games are right up my alley, and it’s the perfect way to introduce M & E to the genre.
Know something about this game that I didn’t mention, or just have some thoughts of your own? Let me know in the comments!