Review: Don’t pass up Pushmo!

Nintendo’s software winning streak continues with Pushmo, another brilliant eShop title. In this odd, ingenious puzzle/platformer, you play a roly-poly little guy named Mallo on a mission to save children who’ve gotten trapped on Pushmo climbing walls, created by a loveable old carpenter who’s made it his life’s mission to build incredibly dangerous playground equipment.

The game’s 250 levels involve pushing and pulling puzzle-wall sections to create a climbable/jump-able pathway to the trapped youngsters. It starts out simple and rapidly gets brain-bendingly challenging. You can pass on levels that have you stumped, but the game will guilt-trip you into returning: no one gets left behind!

This game is so very, very Nintendo in the best ways, welcoming you with charming visuals, sharp controls and a polished presentation that extends to every detail of gameplay. A quick level-reset button and time-rewind feature make the experience very friendly and forgiving, even as the levels get tricky enough to melt your brain.

Pushmo is also a perfect example of a game that could only exist properly on 3DS, as it completely revolves around the game’s four planes of puzzle depth. Try playing Pushmo without 3D; it’s certainly possible, but not nearly as intuitive or pleasant. In 3D, everything about the game “clicks” and makes perfect sense.

Playing the game is only half the fun, as Pushmo includes a paint studio that allows you to draw images and quickly turn them into Pushmo puzzles which can be played, saved as QR codes and shared. Walking into your own artwork and manipulating the pieces as towering blocks is a wonderfully surreal experience.

Well worth its $6.99 eShop price, Pushmo joins Freaky Forms as one of the shop’s most fun and content-packed downloads. It’s available right now, and I highly recommend it for all puzzle fans.