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Art Style: BOXLIFE is a Nintendo DSi game released exclusively through Nintendo's DSiWare service. It debuted in Japan on February 25, 2009, in North America on June 22, 2009, and in Europe on July 10, 2009. It is the third game released in the series.
The basic gameplay of Art Style: BOXLIFE consists of cutting sheets of paper into shapes that will fold into perfect cubes. The game includes two modes, R&D and Factory.
All the actions in the game can be controlled through the touch screen or with the d-pad in conjunction with the touch screen. Throughout the game, players will utilize the scissors icon, fold icon, and reattach icon to complete levels and advance gameplay. Each icon is selectable in the middle-bottom of the screen or can be selected with the d-pad. Pushing left on the d-pad selects the scissors, up or down selects the folding icon, and right selects the reattaching icon.
To use the scissors, players drag the stylus along the path of the desired cut. To use the folding icon, players drag the stylus along the fold-able lines until a complete cube is formed. If a sheet is connected on two sides, it cannot be folded, and if a cube fails to be made, the sheets will simply revert back to their original position. Finally, to use to the reattach icon, which is used to mend incorrectly cut lines, the stylus is simply used between the two sheets that are to be mended.
The R&D mode, which stands for Research and Development, is where the game introduces the player to the various shapes that can be made into cubes. It consists of fourteen levels each completable up to a maximum of 100 points. As levels are played and replayed, the top screen displays a graph that measures that data and compares previous attempts to the most recent, as well as keeps track of the best time.
Each level, called employee ranks in the game, consists of ten rounds. The object of this mode is to use every sheet of paper on the screen to form as many cubes as possible. The first round of each rank introduces the player to a new kind of shape that can form a cube. The subsequent rounds have the player making cubes using that shape and any combination of previously introduced shapes to clear the playing field of all sheets of paper. The player also is given the option to reset the level, which only resets the cubes formed and cut lines, not the time, or they can pass to the next level, docking 10 points.
The top screen displays a stopwatch, the shapes used to complete the level, and ten small boxes that line the bottom of the screen that keep track of how close you are to revealing the shapes or impending penalties. For the first few seconds of each round, the shapes required to complete the level are marked as a question mark. However, after a few seconds, or any time a player forms a cube, the shape is revealed to the player. The longer it takes the player to finish the round causes more points are docked to a maximum of five or, if the round is incomplete, the player is penalized ten points.
After the ten rounds have finished, the results screen is shown. The top screen shows the amount of points gained and how they were evaluated through the player's successes and penalties. The highest score possible in each rank is 100 while the lowest is 0. The bottom screen shows the same current chart progress that the main screen of the R&D mode shows.
The factory mode is a series of eight timed levels where the goal in each is to create as many cubes as possible within the time limit while wasting the least amount of paper. The playing field consists of an infinite number of randomly generated sheets of paper. Every so often, a barrel-shaped bomb falls onto the paper and slowly begins to detonate. If the player is able to create a cube around the bomb and ship it off before it detonates, they are awarded bonus points. Otherwise, the bomb will explode, taking out surrounding sheets of paper and causing penalty points for the player.
As the levels progress, the bombs begin to fall more frequently and start to detonate quicker. At the end of each level, a monetary tally is gathered based upon the player's points accumulated throughout the level and penalty points are subtracted. Every time a level is completed and money is gained, it is added to a running tally that gives the player rewards every set amount of money. The reward consists of adding new items that are interchangeable on the main screen's home area on the top screen. Players are able to change these out by pressing the corresponding button on the d-pad. A player is also promoted with the completion of a factory level which permanently changes their character's clothes.