Review: Shut the Box

Shut the game off.

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 08/19/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Easy to learn.
Poison Mushroom for...
Gameplay lacks depth; No lasting replayability; Poor presentation.

There are games that are fun because they’re simple yet offer a deep experience. But, there are also games that are so simple in design that it’s hard to find any kind of enjoyment from them. Shut the Box falls in the latter category, as it’s a game that requires barely any kind of thought or skill to play.

The object of Shut the Box is to take as many of the 27 tiles on screen as possible. Each tile has a number between one and nine and is placed in three different rows. The only way to remove them is to roll dice and pick the tiles that add up to the number shown. But, you can only take tiles away from other rows once the tiles in front of them are taken away. That’s it. You’ve just learned all of the intricacies to Shut the Box. The game is easy to learn, but it’s not much fun to play.

There’s nothing wrong with having simple game mechanics, but there’s absolutely nothing redeeming about the core gameplay in Shut the Box because it’s completely mindless. The only thing that you’re really doing is simple mental math to take away tiles. Sure, you can try to make strategic decisions by saving certain numbered tiles for later, but this will not really amount to much in the long run. Once you get to the last few tiles, which is pretty easy to do, victory will be determined solely by luck through your dice rolls.

Classic card games like Solitare are also based on luck, but they have more intricacies that make them interesting as a whole. In Shut the Box, the only thing you’ll ever have to manage is your addition skills, making the game feel incredibly shallow and boring. This, coupled with the fact that a single game takes about a minute to finish, ensures that the game has no lasting replayability whatsoever. It doesn’t help that the game has a poor presentation as well, featuring poor visuals and a single monotonous background track that loops endlessly. Even though Shut the Box is only a dollar, it’s not compelling enough to be worth your money.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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