Published on September 16th, 2012 | by Dembonez191
Developer: Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd.
System(s): 3DS eShop
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Perfect (or close enough to it)
Games found exclusively on the eShop are often overlooked. With some of the cheaper ones, you often find that you get exactly what you pay for. With Pushmo by Intelligent Systems, you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Pushmo is an interesting genre mix of puzzle and platformer. The whole idea of the game is that children are trapped inside Pushmo Park’s puzzles, and the main hero Mallo is sent to save them. From there, the player is taught how to play in typical tutorial style.
The puzzles themselves range greatly in difficulty. Since there are around 250 of them, many of the puzzles will have you backtracking and fixing mistakes that you make in the process. Since it is very easy in some of the more complex puzzles to end up trapped, it is fortunate that the L shoulder button is designated to a rewind mechanic that sends Mallo back in time as long as the rewind meter has life in it. This will prevent the player from having to reset a puzzle if the only mistake they made was recent.
If the puzzle is a complete mess however, there is a ground-level reset button that Mallo can press to reset the entire puzzle and try again. Some puzzles may need one or two glances or require a few tries before they are finally completed, but that is the challenge. Pushmo is cute, but it is not easy by any means.
The controls are easy enough to understand immediately. The art to solving each Pushmo is discovered by trial and error and remembering what to do. The more spaces you have available to pull out a block leading to a trapped child, the better off you are.
Beyond the lessons, there are challenge puzzles and mural puzzles. Challenge puzzles are not spectacular, though they are challenging. They consist of basic shapes that Mallo must climb. Mural puzzles feature images of things ranging from dinosaurs to familiar Nintendo mascots, and one of the biggest draws is that players are able to create their very own Pushmo levels and export them online with a QR code for other players to scan.
Choosing to work with QR codes was interesting since so many 3DS games have StreetPass and/or SpotPass capabilities instead. Since Pushmo has gone the more artistic route, it makes more sense to have a way to publish your art online and have others scan the codes to have those brilliant pieces inside their own games. This could open the door to more design-oriented games or games with design features to utilize the QR code scanner on the 3DS.
The create mode works a lot like the design mode in the Animal Crossing series. You work pixel by pixel, and the further along you are in the actual game, the more goodies you can unlock for create mode including a larger canvas.
Pushmo is a fantastic eShop game for under $10 that challenges your mind as well as your creativity and places these challenges into a cute world full of adorable creatures. For such a simple concept, Pushmo is a well executed puzzle platformer that could have you thinking and creating for hours.
+ Over 250 in-game puzzles
+ Puzzle creation and trading with QR codes
+ A lot of bang for your buck.
Final score: 5 out of 5