Sorry Mario and pals, but trusty, chubby Mallo has stolen our attention and built himself up to be one cool and collected cat.
And who would have thought?
Puzzle games haven’t always been geared towards casual fans, but Pushmo ends up climbing its way to your heart, stealing hours of your spare time. A handy level-design feature adds to the fun, creating a one-of-a-kind experience only available on Nintendo’s handheld.
The concept of the game is simple- move blocks that make up a “Pushmo,” which is essentially a collection of pieces that make up a big block, until you get to the top, where a child is stuck. For those still confused, think back to the end of last year and Atlus’ “Catherine.” Think of a G-rated version of that game, with similar gameplay. Ah, now we’re on the same page again.
Can the game, in spite of the fun, get repetitive? Of course, but the puzzles range from overtly-simple to annoyingly-difficult, which makes for a type of puzzle experience that isn’t available anywhere else. Some puzzles can be solved in seconds; many take much longer than that. Either way, you’ll enjoy the “slap on the head, that was so easy, why did it take me so long” puzzles, as much as the ones that you’ll enlist the help of your friends for.
But before you even start to really play, the first thing that catches your attention are the colors. Bright reds, bananaramic yellows and big blues flood the screen, making you feel like you’re in the middle of a playground covered in Playskool toys. While the graphics aren’t amazing, the natural allure of the settings is a world that begs to be played in. The characters are silly and charming and continue the hypnotizing effect the game has on its user. The sound effects do a great job of capitalizing on the fun-filled gameplay experience.
Perfect in five-minute bursts or hour-long exclusions, “Pushmo” makes its case that it’s so much more than a good handheld title. While the game uses two screens, it could easily be ported to the Wii. The 3D effects are easy on the eyes and make it a good fit on the system, but they’re not exactly needed.
At its heart, Pushmo is just a fun and often times challenging retro puzzler.
And even if puzzles aren’t your thing, it’s impossible to argue with the $7 price point. Playing through the first two levels, which consist of 36 puzzles, you already get your monies worth. The ability to trade and create your own Pushmo puzzles adds a level of depth that no other DLC on the 3DS can stack up with- no pun intended.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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