A few days ago we reviewed the encyclopedia into which he was turning his Twitter from a designer who talked about the ins and outs of his work. He commented in one of his messages that good video game design is one that needs no explanation, it just works, and it inevitably came to mind Super Mario.
Specifically one of the phrases that Miyamoto offered a few years ago at the gates of the launch of Super Mario Odyssey. In an interview he spoke of what he considers one of his masterpieces, something so simple and effective that it still seemed like one of his best designs: the Tox Box.
A box that moves falling on its sides while obstructing the step. All sides will crush and damage you if they catch you in their path, which is also usually difficult to avoid, but after a few turns you discover that one of the sides has a hole in which you can enter and let it pass.
Appeared for the first time in Super Mario 64, the enemy was modernized on his arrival in Super Mario Galaxy, but beyond his appearance he did not require any more changes. More than ten years of difference between one game and another – and it is not little in an industry that grows at a fast pace – but it was still working perfectly.
“When the hole is on your side Mario can slip into the cube and you will be safe, but if not, you will be crushed. It is easy to see. It is very clear and understandable. It is also easy to predict. But once you start thinking about it then becomes complex. When you try to put it into action, it becomes complex. I think it’s one of my masterpieces. ”
The idea is fascinating precisely because of how visual and simple it is. It is difficult for someone who crosses paths with another enemy of the saga to foresee what is going to happen next, but the Tox Box is a tutorial in itself. A masterpiece to remember.