Who knew that everything through the looking glass was actually made of cardboard? Yamada Box Legend is a quirky fantasy game that sends you spiraling into the Cardboard World after being the stooge for a magician's vanishing act. A team of students calling themselves Arcane Kids, including Tom Astle (creator of Spikes Tend to Kill You), produced this graphically pleasing puzzle RPG adventure that will draw you in with its bizarre characters and engaging gameplay. In this Lewis Carroll-esque 3D world, you take on the task of exploring different cardboard realms, led by the helpful (and perhaps sinister) nudging of various rabbits. Filled with mischievous characters and challenging environmental puzzles, the only thing that may prevent you from hopping right into this surreal delight is a severe case of leporiphobia.
To explore the critter-filled world you've found yourself in, you'll need to use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move yourself to and fro and the [spacebar] to jump. Move the cursor to rotate the camera and to direct your character's movement. Left click in order to pick up objects, hold down the right mouse button to target, and then left click once more to toss the held item. Scattered about the game, you'll find different boxes with portals to new worlds, and it's up to you to jump in [E], solve the problem inside, and jump back out [Q].
As you wander about, be prepared for instructions or requests from a carnival of creatures. An angry bear needs your help, a mob of rabbits wants you to obey, and a gerbil desperately wants to save a princess. Each box in the game transports you to a different place, though some are for moving from one level to the next and others have the problems you need to reason through that will help you succeed. The puzzles presented may seem straight forward in the beginning but as you delve deeper you may find yourself scanning the screen frantically for some type of clue, whether real or imagined. The cluttered landscape of jumbled magician's tools will seem less like a behind the scene's tour and more like a descent into a rabbit takeover.
Exploring this imaginative little cardboard universe is made all the more entertaining by the well paired music that accompanies you through the various challenges. The camera angling can sometimes be awkward, and if you're using a Mac with a single button mouse or touch pad you may find yourself having mild difficulty with the controls. However, in the face of the humorous dialogue and nicely crafted brain teasers, it's possible to endure the added challenge with a Cheshire Cat-like grin. Unlike some other Unity games, Yamada is crisp instead of clunky and shows a promising example of the great direction NoxiousHamster can take this tantalizing hybrid.