A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Pushmo
Version – Nintendo 3DS
ESRB Rating: ‘E’ – Everyone
Obtained – Purchased from the eShop
If you are looking for a puzzle game, look no further. Pushmo will challenge your puzzle solving skills.
Gameplay & Controls
The game play is quite simple, you pull out blocks, and the objective is to rescue Pushmo children who are trapped at the top of the tower. Each level is a picture, or mural with different colored blocks, and the player must solve the puzzle of which to pull out, and which to leave alone. There is also a limitation to each level, each block can only be pulled out 3 segments from the back wall. When on top of a block, you cannot pull it out 3 segments while backing up, and must use the side pull or find an alternate way up.
After several levels, the player gets introduced into new advanced features such as switches and manholes. The switches will extend all blocks of that color to the full 3 segments out from the wall. Manholes allow Pushmo to ‘teleport’ to another part of the level with the matching colored manhole. Switches and Manholes have to pulled out at least 1 segment to be active, and in order to use the manhole, both must be moved out at least 1 segment for you to travel between them. If the player makes a mistake, they can hit the reset button at the bottom and the level will completely reset back to its original form when you started – all the blocks pushed in.
The controls are also quite simple, the player moves Pushmo with the circle pad, uses B to grab a block, and A to jump. The player can also use X or R to zoom, X more for the map of the area in the immediate vicinity of the player, and R a zoom on the ‘map’ on the lower screen. Using L the player can rewind time in case you missed that jump and don’t want to work your way back up to where you were, or perhaps you realized you pulled a block out that you didn’t need to, or one that you should have pulled out. This will undo all your latest actions, and this feature only rewinds about a minute of time. So if you do not catch your mistake, you may not be able to return to that point to correct it.
Pushmo consists 3 main areas. There is a tutorials section; which allows players to practice and see different tips and tricks Pushmo can do. There is Pushmo Park, which is the main story mode. There are at least 11 “worlds” each containing 18 levels. 2 of the worlds introduce the game play techniques with different levels. Finally there is Pushmo Studio, which allows the player to create their own levels and receive new ones. All of the controls and functions available within the level creation are explained through the help icon. To create levels with the advanced techniques, the player must have unlocked them from Pushmo Park. The player is able to create 5 worlds worth of levels, and/or receive levels via QR Code. The player can create a QR Code for their level, and distribute it over the Internet for others to play. To add levels via QR Code, the player must simply click the icon, and align the QR Code within the frame and the level is brought in instantly.
Visuals & Sound
The visuals are pretty basic. The game is very colorful and the game looks very good. The 3D effects aren’t required to do well in this game, and help make some blocks pop out so the player can clearly see how far the blocks are pulled out. With some blocks close together and at different depths, some blocks are harder to see and the 3D effects help the player get a better idea how far the blocks are pulled out. The music and sounds are basic. The sounds while pulling out the blocks are very distinctive and the player can tell how far each is pulled out, or pushed in. Each of the segment has its own sound with each sound increasing in pitch when pulling out, and descending when pushing one back in.
9 out of 10
Overall, the game is very fun. The puzzles can get frustrating, but due to the limitations they do not become impossible to solve. I am nearly finished with the game since I’m enjoying it so much. I would recommend this to anyone that is a fan of fun puzzles. With over 150 different puzzles and ones to add via QR Code in addition to the ones you can create, the player will spend many hours attempting to solve each one.
Here are some sweet puzzles I found on the Internet: