Barney The Box is a new game for iPhone that attempts to build on what many apps have done before. There have been dozens and dozens of these kinds of apps released, mainly due to the fact that many of the popular app and game creation tools have frameworks for them built in.
Barney The Box does try to add a bit of character to the idea, as well as a few new rules, and while it does have some nice ideas, the implementation of those ideas does leave a lot to be desired.
The basic aim of the game is to place all of the objects in each level on top of Barney, a yellow box that sits at the bottom of the stage. These objects are usually simple block shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles, but they can also be object such as circular rocks and bouncing balls that fly around the levels.
Barney himself can’t be moved, and all objects must be placed on top of him, not to the side. Once you manage to get all the blocks balanced on him, they must stay there for a few seconds before the marker on Barney turns from ‘error’ to ‘calc’ and then to ‘yes’ once they have been there for the required time.
The graphics here are really very simple indeed. I would like far more detail on all the objects in the game as I feel the look of the game is quite poor indeed. One small thing I did like about the graphics are the way Barney’s eyes follow you around the screen. The music is quite pleasant, and suits the game well.
The physics are pretty good, but the big issue is that the objects, when you are holding them, swing about far too much. You have to pick things up so slowly to keep them still. The issue is most obvious with the rectangle shapes, which hang vertically, so if you want them to lie flat, you have to swing them around, which is quite annoying. If the developer made it so you could use two fingers to hold long objects, this issue would be somewhat resolved.
As it is, even with the smaller objects, you will spend quite some time holding them above Barney, waiting for them to stop moving.
If the developer could reduce the amount of swing, this would be a far better game.
There are plenty of levels to play through, a smattering of achievements to unlock, and the ability to share your score over Facebook. The app is universal, although the objects do need to be scaled up considerably on iPad as they are so small they are obscured by fingers.
Overall, this game does have some nice ideas, such as the different objects in the levels, and if the developer could tune the physics up, let you use two fingers to hold objects and spruced up the graphics, then this would be a far better game. As it is, compared to many other titles like this, Barney The Box is found wanting.