HAL discusses the creation of BOYBOY! + BOXGIRL!, the series' future, and their CircleBoy April Fools' Day joke

HAL might not be done with the franchise just yet

BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! is available on Switch right now, and Famitsu wanted to learn more about how the title came together. They sat down with HAL Producer Yasuhiro Mukae, art director Akiko Horiuchi, director Taku Koinuma, and level design director Yutaka Watanabe to talk about how BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! came to be, where the franchise will go next, and the April Fools' Day joke of Circleboy. Translations courtesy of NintendoEverything.

F: The third game completed the trilogy, so could you tell us why you decided to make this fourth game?

Koinuma: I think the release of the Switch was a big factor. The previous game offered a conclusion, but with the Switch we are able to bring the game to those who have not had a chance to play the series before and, when we then thought about the sort of things we could accomplish with the special features of the hardware, we decided to start development.

F: Can you give us a hint as to what is next for the series?

Mukae: At the moment things are just settling down after this current game and we are mainly concerned at the moment with releasing onto the Switch smoothly. After that the team will start discussing what we want to do next. Whether that’s another BoxBoy! or something different… that’s something we haven’t talked about in certain terms, but in order that BoxBoy! remains a series that can be appreciated for a long time I think I’d like it to continue, and I’m happy to be the one overseeing it.

F: For April Fools’ Day there were designs released for a CircleBoy and also a Square Kirby, but are there any plans to release anything officially?

Mukae: The response we got from many people after that was positive, which I was really pleased about. In terms of merchandise, I’m sorry to say that I haven’t heard anything… but if they were being sold I would definitely want to buy them! This is a bit of an aside, but I was thinking quite seriously about the basic layout of a CircleBoy game at the time of creating him. (laughs) At least all that work was worthwhile!

HAL gives Qbby a makeover for Easter

Smooth, baby!

HAL has released a special piece of art to celebrate Easter. The artwork features Qbby looking a bit more spherical than we're used to seeing him! He's also gotten a nice coat of paint as well. I'd say Qbby is looking pretty sharp, but that doesn't make much sense when he's not a square!

HAL grabs more BOXBOY! related trademarks in Japan

HAL is working on BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL for Switch right now, which is set to release sometime this year. While we wait for that, HAL is also scooping up some other BOXBOY! related trademarks in Japan. The latest filings are for ハコボーイ!&ハコガール!(Hako Boy! & Hako Girl!) and BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!. These trademarks pertain to home videogame machine and game software for smartphone.

Sakurai explains discusses why he left HAL, and how Smash Bros. allows him to create new things

Many know Masahiro Sakurai as the creator of Smash Bros. Ultimate, but he is also the creator of Kirby. Over the years, some have come to believe that Sakurai left his position at HAL because he grew tired of the expectations of creating sequels for Kirby time and time again. In an interview with EDGE, Sakurai clears the air about his departure from HAL and working on Kirby. He also touches on how working on the Smash Bros. series allows him to create new things.

“There’s been some kind of misunderstanding about that. I never said that I didn’t want to make Kirby games. I think what I talked about in the past, about it being difficult to create a new game if I just stayed at HAL has been twisted somehow. I wouldn’t mind working anywhere as long as I get to create new things. I’m making Smash Bros. because Nintendo has asked me to, and because I feel it’s a project that I should prioritize above all else if I’m asked to do it. If I create a new game, that may be one more great, fun game people can play – but by making Smash Bros. I can create something with more value and wide-reaching effects. However, I definitely don’t feel like I am stuck in a rut doing similar things. Every time I add lots of new things, and I feel that it’s a job I always enjoy.”

HAL's Metal Slader Glory gets a fan-translation

Metal Slader Glory was HAL Laboratory’s final independent title before Nintendo snatched them up. It released on the Famicom 27 years ago, but never saw release outside of Japan. That all changes today, with a fan-translation now available. You can see the translation in action above!

HAL's president shares very kind words on Iwata, mentions an unreleased SNES game, and explains the company's logo

The president of HAL Laboratory, Satoshi Mitsuhara, recently sat down for an interview with Forbes, and the feature contains all kinds of interesting tidbits. You can find the some snippets below, but make sure to click over and read the full piece.

On Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata was a very straight person. Never tried to cheat or have any kind of intent to do that at all. Even when other people were cheating or doing something underhand, he never used that as a reason to do likewise. At work, he was also a very serious and honest person, that sincerity and honesty made the company very pleasant. He also had a big capacity for things, he could take on a lot. We were very close friends.

One time, when we were extremely busy on MOTHER2 for Super Famicom we often went out together for dinner after work. On our way home from dinner, we used to go to the arcades and play Daytona USA exactly twice. Always twice and leave. I reckoned we did that every week. It was really like work hard and play hard.

On an unreleased SNES game

As soon as Ponkotsu Tank was finished, I moved onto another game. However, this was not the first Kirby game but an unpublished title. This was a Super Famicom or SNES game. Unfortunately, I cannot talk about this game though. I then worked Kirby’s Adventure for Famicom or NES after that.

On the company's logo

Our “Inutamago” logo, with “inu” meaning dog and “tamago” meaning egg, is quite symbolic because the dog is a mammal and doesn't lay eggs. However, it is looking after these eggs, that means you don't really know what is inside those eggs. That implies that whatever comes out of these eggs is completely unknown and utterly surprising. That's where the inspiration for the logo is from, in that HAL Laboratory is a company that will surprise people and creates something unimaginable.

Part Time UFO, HAL Lab's newest mobile game, now available worldwide

Part Time UFO, the newest mobile game from HAL Laboratory, is now available worldwide. The game can downloaded from Apple's App Store, Google's Play Store or Amazon's App Store for €4.49/£3.99/$3.99.

HAL teasing another BOXBOY! game

In the video above, we see a bit of at teaser for the future of the BOXBOY! series. Looks like Bye-Bye BOXBOY! isn't going to be the final entry in the series! Man, I really hope we see the character make the jump over to Switch!

HAL mobile game Hataraku UFO available in Japan

- play as UFO-kun as he works to stack and balance all sorts of items
- direct his crane so that his stack ends up perfectly balanced
- UFO-kun comes from a planet called Milky Way Central to learn about the working culture here on Earth
- he finds jobs through the “Hataraku News” magazine
- pick any job you like from those listed
- jobs include moving furniture and catching fish to helping make cheerleading towers and balancing circus animals
- receive money for every job you do
- buy accessories with the money you make, which will help UFO-kun get better at his job or look a little snazzier
- plans for merchandise in the future
- available on mobile devices now in Japan

HAL opens mobile subsidiary, first title due out Fall 2017

Hal had announced HAL Egg, a mobile focused offshoot. They will be using HAL Egg to launch mobile games, with the first due out Fall 2017. It seems these mobile games will focus on new characters.


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