“Cinematic and playful, it pushes the expectations of what an app can look like and delivers unusually charming entertainment.” —juror Tali Krakowsky
“Beautiful illustrations, settings and actions. The only downside? I kept playing it when I was supposed to be judging other projects.” —juror Eric Karjaluoto
Overview: The Boxtrolls: Slide ’N’ Sneak is a mobile game that follows the storyline of The Boxtrolls film. Players help the Boxtrolls rescue their friends, who have been captured by the Red Hats. The game features simple tap and swipe controls: tap to jump and swipe down to slide. Combining well-timed slides and jumps can result in launching Boxtrolls high into the air and over obstacles, a satisfying effect that appeals to a wide audience of novices and seasoned gamers alike. The game uses the native gyroscope in mobile devices to provide a sense of depth. Menu scenes twist and move as the user tilts the device, creating a parallax effect that is both stunning and natural.
• The game is built in Adobe AIR running the Starling engine.
• Game play is enhanced by music, voices and sound from the movie.
• So far, the game has been downloaded well over a million times, and the average user plays for 30 to 40 minutes at a time.
Comments by RED Games, a division of RED Interactive Agency:
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “We had to figure out how to create a mobile game that was an appropriate companion to The Boxtrolls, so it needed to be highly visual and incredibly detailed. In order to re-create Laika’s unique animation style in a touchscreen experience, we opted to animate 2-D photographs of the actual mockettes used in the film. We used traditional animation techniques and relatively primitive technology to achieve the level of quality we strove for on mobile devices. Although this was more time-consuming, it was important to us that the Boxtroll characters appeared to be more than just static images in the game. This technique let us maintain the film’s richly textured aesthetic and painstaking details in retina-quality graphics and create a mobile experience that truly represented Laika’s style.”
Are there any other technical features you'd like to call attention to? “We developed a new 2.5-D engine that allowed us to create 3-D parallaxing environments more efficiently. It’s essentially a drag-and-drop tool that allowed us to quickly arrange and build scenes that have a realistic 3-D look and feel.”
Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? “We needed to design a game that was accessible and appealing to an audience consisting of casual gamers and nongamers, males and females. We decided to give users a simple set of controls that yield highly rewarding results. The game doesn’t require complex inputs from users in order for the characters to perform exciting actions. You can be a low- to mid-skilled casual gamer and still feel like you can master this game.”