The Boxxle effect

As I sat watching women’s gymnastics this evening and surfing the Apple App Store for games, I stumbled across a Boxxle knockoff Sokoban game for the iPhone/iTouch. It got me thinking about Boxxle, which came out for the original Game Boy (Egads! Monochrome graphics! How did we deal!?).

Boxxle was a fun, but incredibly tough, game. You played a warehouse worker who had to position boxes around a room so they covered little dots. It was frustrating. It was a pretty great puzzler.

The thing is, when Boxxle came out people didn’t say it was for “casual gamers” (which existed as much then as they do today), or that it was some throwaway collection of puzzle mini-games. In fact, no one really made a peep. They either played it or they didn’t, and people were mature enough not to moan about graphics or crappy third party efforts or the fact that it was a puzzle game.

What the hell happened?