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Boxes: Lost Fragments Review (PC)



Boxes: Lost Fragments Promotional Art

At the heart of every lock idles an intricate mechanism—a remarkable and almost sentient chain of cogs, switches, and levers. Such is the case in Big Loop Studios’ Boxes: Lost Fragments—a puzzle-heavy art piece that harnesses the very power of said mechanisms in its every lockbox and curveball. Needless to say that, when it comes to well-written and genuinely heartfelt love letters to the likes of The Room and Myst travel, it’s arguably one of the most visually reminiscent on the docket. And that’s putting it lightly; there’s more to it than that, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy my time, albeit it rather brief, unraveling its mysteries and weaving through its countless combinations and vibrant set pieces.

In the three hours I spent rifling through numerous possibilities and channeling a somewhat deflated sense of uncertainty into Boxes: Lost Fragments, I was able to see things I wouldn’t normally begin to fathom, and connect dots that, in my mind, never would’ve initially made sense. To say I rolled out of it as a slightly more intellectual candidate would be a little on the nose, for sure — but reaping the benefits of my labor, on the other hand, was inevitable. It wasn’t an easy feat to climb, but the payout for bearing with it was, in the strangest of ways, unexpectedly worthwhile.

To slot you in the frame and lather a bit of context over it, Boxes: Lost Fragments is a puzzle game, and not one that mulls over bog-standard lock-and-key patterns or rehashed materials, but a full-fledged series of intricate pieces—a tapestry, if you will, that incorporates unique themes, elements, and colorful combinations that even the likes of Houdini wouldn’t have solved. Caught your attention? Then let’s jump in.

Riddles Upon Riddles

Octopus box in Boxes: Lost Fragments

Boxes: Lost Fragments slots you into a whimsical realm of mystery and elegance—a collection, for the most part, that includes a wide array of thematic rooms and original pieces. The game, which provides you with little more than your own two hands and a couple of well-needed gadgets and gizmos, invites you to participate in a web of virtual bouts comprised of mind-racking riddles and interactive mechanisms. The goal behind each box, really, is to wheedle your way through the codes, messages, and components, and essentially locate a way to extract the information from each of their inner cores.

To put you in the picture, you fill the boots of a master thief—an intellectual who’s been commissioned to extract a rare mask from the core of a lavish home. Upon retrieving said marvel in the tutorial—a brief introductory puzzle that involves having to sift through a couple of mechanisms and crack a simple lock, the walls around you begin to cave in, leaving you to roam around in a traditional point-and-click fashion. From there, it’s merely the case of having to work through a myriad of different technical contraptions and other compartments in order to, well, make way with the loot, so to speak.

All in all, Boxes: Lost Fragments will take you anywhere from two to three hours to complete. Of course, it all depends on how you approach certain aspects and devise your conclusive solutions, but for the most part (and for those who’ve relatively little to no experience with puzzle games), it should take roughly two and a half hours to crack. So, while it isn’t necessarily lengthy, story-wise, it doesn’t exactly waste the time it’s given, either.

A Time to Unwind

Mechanical puzzle in Boxes: Lost Fragments

While it may not be the most therapeutic way to unwind, unlocking some of the puzzles and lockboxes in Lost Fragments can, in fact, provide you with an incentive to dig a little deeper. Granted, you won’t find the journey as a whole to be a complete walk in the park, but where it lacks in simplicity, it most certainly makes up for in traditional values, such as the ability to bathe in your own successes and frequent ascensions. And it’s those sorts of moments that drove me to go even farther — even when I felt that I had exhausted all of my options and driven myself into a virtual ditch of despair.

There’s a certain beauty to Lost Fragments: it’s elegant in all the right places, and not to mention absolutely bursting with vibrant colors, soundscapes, and thematic set pieces. And so, while the journey can lean more towards tax-inducing gameplay above all else, it’s the attention to detail that makes it for what it is. Simply put, it’s beautiful, and an honest marvel for those with a heart for finer details and elegant designs.

What makes Lost Fragments all the more inviting is its ability to entice players with a built-in hint system—a tactical system that essentially highlights key areas that relate to the next clue or missing piece of a puzzle. Does this feel like cheating? Perhaps. Even still, it does help to lessen the burden of having to mindlessly click in every available place in order to make just a sliver of progress. And honestly, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t resort to a handout every once in a while, if only to scoot things along into the next quarter. So, thanks for that, Big Loop Studios.

A Love Letter

Aquatic puzzle in Boxes: Lost Fragments

If you’ve ever so much as nibbles on the surface of The Room, then you’ll probably have an easier time understanding Lost Fragments and the way its mechanics work. For the most part, it’s either fiddling with gears, knobs, and levers, and clicking in key areas in order to unravel an additional piece of the puzzle. And yes, whilst you can take full advantage of its hint system in order to unveil a new component, the game does invite you to, well, work things out for yourself. No complaints there, what with it being a full-fat puzzle game at what have you.

Lost Fragments has a total of five unique chapters in its campaign, each containing four boxes to unlock. To cut a long story short, you essentially need to earn your stripes as a master thief by locating one of five relics that are hidden behind each chapter. To put it simply, you must obtain all available relics in order to “complete” the story, which, if done correctly, will take you anywhere from two to four hours, give or take. Having said that, Lost Fragments isn’t a game that you’ll want to romp through and crush in record-breaking time, either. On the contrary, it’s something that you’ll want to unwind to, if only for a while.

Regardless of how you approach each container, the boxes always have a story to tell, as made clear by their respective components and themes. And while they can be somewhat tricky at times, they can be solved by even the most inexperienced players. But for when things do go a little awry, it isn’t the end of the world. Matter of fact, with advice and general pointers only being a click away, it isn’t that difficult to fail.


Clock puzzle in Boxes: Lost Fragments

Boxes: Lost Fragments signs, seals, and delivers an experimental art piece that’s both well-structured and visually appealing in all the right places. It’s also in receipt of more than enough complex tasks and original puzzles to keep you on your toes and forever guessing when and where then next component will miraculously spring to life. It isn’t a boring game, is what I’m saying, so if you’re relatively new to the world of puzzle-solving, then you’re sure to find Lost Fragments a well-oiled treasure that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Mechanically, the puzzles pretty much speak for themselves; they’re well-cut, and perform in the way you’d expect them to. With little to zero technical errors or audio-visual downfalls, it’s easy to lose yourself to — if only for a few hours before the next chapter strolls along to offer you a new world to unravel. Point is, Big Loop Studios clearly did their homework before pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their latest creation — and it shows in every aspect of the journey.

When all’s said and done, you could certainly do a whole lot worse than Boxes: Lost Fragments. If it’s a thought-provoking dive into a treasure trove of wall-to-wall puzzles that you’re on the market for, then you needn’t look any further.

Boxes: Lost Fragments Review (PC)

Elegantly Crafted

Boxes: Lost Fragments blends a captivating art concept with a fantastic selection of thought-provoking puzzles that’ll give even the most die-hard The Room fans something to write home about.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.