3DS eShop Review – Pushmo

Title: Pushmo

Publisher: Intelligent Systems

Developer: Intelligent Systems

Genre: Puzzle

System: 3DS eShop Downloadable title

Now that the details are finally out-of-the-way, lets get on with the review. Pushmo, a 3D puzzle game stars Mallo, the hero, who will need to use his head when it comes to finding the lost towns-children who got stuck inside the Pushmo. Pushmo is similar to a playground that only consists of multicolored and multidimensional blocks. The game could be compared to Tetris but not as complicated. Pushmo offers some of the same ideas that made Tetris such as good puzzle game. It offers good music to listen to while you’re playing. It offers a fun, quirky main character to play as. The game also offers some fun online concepts but I will get into that a little later.

The game has simple controls to master and teaches you the basics through a simple tutorial set of stages that don’t have that “teaching you the basics” feel to them. Pushmo is a game that masters the 3D aspects of the system, something I have been very critical of games for the system early on in the 3DS’s lifespan. Pushmo doesn’t look like the 3D was just put in as a gimmick, it looks like it was built specifically for the 3DS and for moving objects in and out of three dimensions to save the children that get stuck inside the Pushmo. The game has a simple idea that doesn’t get too overly complicated and that’s a good thing. I get the feeling if the game was too overly complicated, it would scare off some of the fans that have fallen in love with the title. “Simple” sells these days and is charming, something Pushmo has plenty of.

Simple game-play and great looking. These are always found in a successful Nintendo franchise. Pushmo shows off how simple and amazing it looks early on in Mallo’s journey to save the children. In expected Nintendo fashion, you can play the game your way. There isn’t one way to free a child from the Pushmo. You can pull the blocks any way you see fit, as long as you free the child, the level will be seen as a success. Combine simplistic game-play with great graphics and you have a winning formula. Music plays a role in how great a game is as well. Everyone should know by now that I’m a sucker when it comes to great video game music. Pushmo has some great music to listen to and that adds to the fun simple game-play the game has to offer. If it isn’t the menu theme, it’s the main title theme that shows off the simple things and shows the player that this game is fun and simple. On the plus side, you have as long as you need to complete each puzzle, another thing that adds to the simple, fun aspect of the game. I feel that’s what Intelligent Systems was going for with this game, simple and fun.

Interaction. This one word seems to be what gets people to buy a game these days. People care how they can interact with others rather than how good the game is. Pushmo gives the players the ability to build their own Pushmo puzzles and provide the QR code for that puzzle to be put online and other players can scan it and play the puzzle. Unfortunately, this is really the only online interaction the game has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. More options for online interaction could have been streetpass mode, allowing the puzzles to be swapped with people you walk by on the street. Another mode could have been “best time,” where you could do ten Pushmo and post your time and see who has the best time for the set of Pushmo puzzles. Who knows what ideas were left on the cutting room floor and if the game takes off, and it looks like it has, maybe the ideas that were cut for Pushmo 1 will be front and center in Pushmo 2. For these reasons I’m giving Pushmo for the 3DS eShop a 9.0/10.

My Conclusion

Pushmo is a simplistic, fun puzzle game available for the 3DS’s eShop download service. You play as Mallo, the town hero, who is stuck with the task of freeing the children who get trapped inside the Pushmo blocks. The game has easy-to-learn controls and great looking graphics. The 3D graphics look great and don’t have that “we decided to go 3D” gimmicky feel to them. Music for the game adds to the simplistic feel to the game and I love great video game music. Pushmo doesn’t have a lot of online interaction but it does have QR code transfers and the ability to create your own Pushmo puzzles, which was a great idea to have in the game. Would have liked to see more online options but what can you expect from an eShop game? Maybe Pushmo 2 will have a ton of online play, if there ever is a sequel.


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