Pushmo is, at first glance, a relatively simple puzzle game about moving blocks. About 3 hours in, you’ll start losing your mind and wonder why you’ve spend the last 20 minutes on the same puzzle. If you own a 3DS and you’re wondering what you should play, you owe it to yourself to try something totally different like Pushmo.
In Pushmo, you are faced with one obstacle: Move a tower blocks forward and backward to reach one certain point on the stack. From there, the game throws everything it possibly can at you to push your brain to its very limits. The concept is so simple, and the tutorial in the beginning stresses such basics things for about 30 minutes. But after the tutorial ends, you start to see why. They really want to make sure you understand every option you have because you’ll need every single one to complete the challenges ahead.
The block formations you find in the game can either be simple designs made specifically for the sake of giving you a puzzle, or they can be fun images of animals, references to other video games, food, and all kinds of other interesting things. All of the puzzles are fun to solve, but I enjoy the ones that actually look like something more. Climbing to the top of a puzzle made to look like a 3DS is infinitely more pleasing to me than climbing an indistinguishable pile of blocks.
The art style of the game is really pretty to look at. Colors pop out from everywhere, and when you turn the 3DS on, the puzzles themselves which are usually nice looking already seem to come out even more as you pull them towards you. The characters all look a little silly, but that’s just part of the fun, none of the game really makes any sense. You play as a tiny red sumo wrestler-looking guy who pulls blocks out to save children who become trapped inside puzzles…and I’m just fine with that.
The user created level sharing is where the game stands out the most for me. Whenever you create a puzzle, you are given a QR code to share your level. Whenever you scan a code with the 3DS camera, the level instantly appears in your game. The amount of creativity in the user levels is some of the most creative work I’ve seen from a community of players since LittleBigPlanet. Thank of nearly any video game related character, and you can find an incredibly clever and well made level based off of them.
Pushmo is another fine example of what the eShop is good for. Games that probably didn’t cost millions of dollars to make can come here to thrive and find an audience that will appreciate them. I love having so many great games that I can open my 3DS and always have with me, and I’m extremely happy to never have to leave home again without Pushmo.
Image Souce: ign.com