Growbox puts you in control of a hungry little square whose mission is to devour golden dots. Nom them all up, then move on to the next level where you get to do it again! Why? We're never told, but I like to believe that the dots are ninja dots who kidnapped the dot President, and you're a bad enough square to rescue him.
To move, simply hold down the left mouse button and the square will slide towards the pointer. You can switch to keyboard controls if you like, which is a nice feature for those of you using touch pads, but the mouse feels much more natural. Holding [shift] lets you move at slower pace, useful for navigating difficult-to-traverse passageways.
With each dot you consume, your square gets a little bit larger, preventing you from reaching certain areas of each level. There are also whole slew of pickups that will both help and hinder you on your path to total dot annihilation. Red dots take away points and make you significantly larger, circles and triangles will change your shape, and clocks make you temporarily smaller. Your score is based on how quickly you complete each level, although collecting stars or red circles will raise or lower your score, respectively. The real focus is on figuring out which order you need to collect the dots so that you don't grow too big for your proverbial britches.
Analysis: As much as I love puzzle games, they seldom love me back, and Growbox is no exception. With only 20 levels, the average person can probably finish this one over their lunch break. I won't say how long it took for me to get through the game, but if anybody took that long for lunch, they likely wouldn't have a job anymore when they came back.
Still, no matter how many tries a relatively simple level may have taken, I never felt like giving up. There was always a feeling that I almost found that elusive path that would let me get everything and move on to the next level. This was probably due to the fact that the game introduces new elements slowly. Just when you think you've got the hang of it, the rules change. Finally figured out how to get past those red balls? Well now they move! Just figured out you need to be a circle in order to pass through circle-shaped walls? Here's one shaped like triangles instead! That constant addition of new elements kept the game fresh, forcing you to think outside of the rapidly-expanding box. The difficulty curve seemed about right, with a nice blend of logic and skill. Figuring out the order in which to tackle a level was just as much of a challenge as actually navigate through.
Since the screen doesn't cover the entire level, a counter letting me know how many dots I had left to get would have been a nice addition. Growbox's real shortcoming is just that it's short. With only 20 levels, the game is over before you've finished warming up. This game seems like it was made for a level editor. The ability to create and share your own stages would have made up for the small amount you're initially provided with. This is the first we're seeing from developer Flash Tangent, so there's definitely room for improvement in future endeavors. If you're in the mood for a good puzzler, don't be afraid to let this one grow on you.