Dear Pushmo, I Lub You.
I’d never heard of this game before yesterday and I’ve already forgotten what life was like before I played Pushmo. The brand new platforming puzzle title developed by those geniuses at Intelligent Systems (Advance Wars, Paper Mario) and which is now exclusively available through the 3DS Eshop.
In it you take control of Mallo, an adorable character that sort of resembles a tubby sumo wrestler made from origami. Using either the slide or cross pad, your goal is to push and pull blocks into climbing paths that will allow the little guy to hop his way to the top of each structure to rescue one of his buddies. It’s deceptively simple and extremely addictive. Take a look:
Don’t you just want to play it right now? I know I do! My mind is blown by this thing. Everything deserves praise:
The decision to go with a slightly retro sound is one that definitely adds to the experience. It actually sort of sounds like the soundtrack to Pikmin as filtered through an NES. Incredibly catchy stuff.
Absolutely flawless. The weight of your character as you jump and physics of the block pulling are spot on and overwhelmingly satisfying.
A simple, vibrant little world that comes to convincing life with fantastic animation and loads of charm. Just watching little Mallo flail his arms around while jumping from platform to platform is enough to grin at. And the 3D effect? This is arguably the best use of the technology that has been released so far. It is a game that is custom designed for this system and a glorious example of a whole new type of gameplay that can be achieved through 3D graphics.
Potentially endless. Aside from the main course which is surprisingly sizeable at around 250 stages, brand new puzzles can also be custom designed and then packed into a QR code to share with your friends.
The Final Word:
Pushmo is without a doubt one of the best games not only of the year but perhaps ever made. It’s one of those rare experiences that is at once wholly original yet wonderfully familiar. A game that, much like Tetris, after having played it you can’t imagine a world without it. The fact that this is available as a download for 7.99 and not on store shelves as a full blown retail title is borderline insulting to it’s quality but also 100% welcome. If nothing else it makes not owning it a major oversight for anyone that loves blissful gaming in its purest form.
Another in a rapidly increasing list of reasons to own a 3DS.