UPDATE : 3/10/2014 : Pushmo 3DS Review. This review has been republished from our old 3DS Nintenfan game review archive.
A mix of puzzle & platforming, Pushmo is a mix of game ideas that’s truly Nintendo Different in every way possible.
One of the latest arrivals to hit the 3DS’s eshop is the release of Pushmo. Priced at 7 dollars, this puzzle-platformer is a real bargain for 3DS users. Nintendo packed the game with over 250 puzzle levels and additional features which greatly enhance the game’s worth. Pushmo centers around the strong Mallo, who’s on a mission to save all the lost children scattered throughout the game’s levels. Using Mallo, players can pull on marked sections of wall (called Pushmo) to reveal an extendable piece of terrain. The goal is to reach the area of wall where the lost child is located, which is marked with a small red flag on your display map. The child is usually located at the top of the level in one of the walls extendable Pushmos. Mallo is restricted in moving Pushmos, requiring at least one additional movement space including the one he’s currently occupying. This makes some levels very difficult to complete. Pushmo’s gradual build in difficulty eases players into simpler strategies first, which become crucial in completing all of pushmo’s 250 stages. But as you’ll continue to find out, Pushmo is a massive release for the eshop, one that provides the 3DS with a possible killer app.
The impact Pushmo could have on the 3DS over time is also something to note while reading this review. Pushmo is very addictive and easy to play. If the 3DS needed anything that compared to Angry Birds than from certain standpoints Pushmo is a very good attempt. Many players will find Pushmo’s mini-level design, and quick grab & play nature to be on par with the Smartphone/pad games of today. Pushmo also provides constant updates and extras like Angry Birds through the use of player/Nintendo generated QR codes, which can be used to provide more Pushmo levels. After completing the game’s initial tutorial world you’ll unlock Pushmo Studio, a whole design suite that allows you to make & edit Pushmo stages/puzzles. There are plenty of possibilities in Pushmo Studio. Looking around you can already find 3DS Pushmo QR galleries and QR exchanges. Nintendo will most likely hold contests and other events to promote Pushmo level design. All of this could make Pushmo Nintendo’s-exclusive “Angry Birds” hit, without Nintendo being responsible for the extra downloadable content.
Both casual and hardcore gamers will appreciate Pushmo’s clever mix of brain teasing puzzles and unique platforming elements. The difficulty of many of the later levels will provide a serious challenge for even the most seasoned gamer. Nintendo the master of platformers also (maybe accidentally) included a platforming element based upon the different Pushmo layers players pull and extend. We found ourselves jumping across a narrow ridge or edge when attempting to reach the other side of the level. Since the levels unfold as you use Mallo to pull out different shaped Pushmo the levels platforming mysteries are revealed, often surprising in their difficulty and depth.
Pushmo looks good on the 3DS, holding a sharp solid image that doesn’t break when increasing the 3D intensity on the 3DS. The idea behind Pushmo makes the game a puzzle / platforming hybrid. Mallo has full 3D direction, giving him the ability to run around in his small diorama confines. The feeling of depth seems to benefit from the game’s oversimplified art style. Nothing really standouts as amazing, but its nice to have a solid design in place that doesn’t detract from Pushmo’s true treasures, addictive fun puzzles.
Pushmo’s music and sound is average for a game of this type. Nothing especially interesting or noteworthy. Pushmo’s music is fairly upbeat and fills most situations without little notice. To me it sounded similar to Animal Crossing’s tunes, with the type of music you’d expect in a Nintendo made title. Overall there’s nothing distinctive or overwhelming, so don’t expect a new Nintendo tune to loop in your head all day.
The beauty of Pushmo on the 3DS is the fun addictive gameplay and limitless sharing and expandable options that are available. Pushmo features many modern convinces that feel very Nintendo in design, but powerful and functional by today’s fast past gaming requirements.
The Good & Bad In Pushmo on the 3DS
- Balance of unique puzzle & platforming gameplay
- Pushmo Studio can be used to make and use new QR Pushmo levels
- Dynamic level design means you’ll discover new experiences every time you play
- Nintendo is taking a chance on a new first party IP
- No share on Facebook or other social networks
Pushmo Review Score
- Gameplay – 9.5 / 10
- Graphics – 8.0 / 10
- Sound – 7.5 / 10
- Multiplayer – 8.5 / 10
- Replay Value – 9.0 / 10
- Final Pushmo Review Score – 8.5 / 10