Pushmo

Pushmo Review

This sumo wrestling cat has children to rescue

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a 3DS on

Pushmo is also known as Pullblox

ESRB Everyone rating

Pushmo proves that Nintendo still has the ability to produce great new properties. As a unique puzzle platformer oozing with charm and plenty of content, it is a great addition to almost anyone's 3DS library.

Pushmo screenshot 1
Mallo pushes and pulls pieces of Mario's head

The game follows the adventures of Mallo who is a sumo wrestling cat. He must save children who have been trapped in playground-like structures called Pushmo. These Pushmo are found in a park named Pushmo Park. Why make a colourful park filled with fun-to-climb structures that children tend to get trapped in? Who knows? Anyway you look at it; Mallo is here to save the day!

Each of the puzzles is played by pushing and pulling blocks in order to reach the top where a child is waiting to be saved. Blocks can only be pulled out three steps therefore making each puzzle challenging as the player is restricted and must rely on their wits to be able to reach the top. Mallo can jump and push and pull blocks from the front or sides. As the game advances, even more complexities are added to the mix such as buttons that fully extend all blocks of a certain colour and manholes that look and act suspiciously like Mario's warp pipes. If the player gets stuck they can rewind by holding the L button or reset the stage by jumping on a button.

Pushmo looks great with bright colours and well animated characters. The children are super cute and every time Mallo rescues one and tosses it in the air, you can't help but smile. Playing the game in 3D looks great and adds a lot to the experience as the depth of blocks are more distinguishable. The music and sound effects are well done and match the childish frivolity well.

Pushmo screenshot 2
It's perfectly safe for a sumo wrestling cat to throw your child in the air

The controls in Pushmo are simple and tight. Players push and pull by holding the B button, jump by tapping the A button, and have the option of moving Mallo with either the circle pad or d-pad. The only issue with the controls is when the player wants to jump around a corner which requires some precision. Often, Mallo will not make the jump and fall to the ground. Even though this is irritating, the player can always rewind back to before they took the leap of faith.

There are a lot of puzzles to solve in Pushmo. 198 puzzles compose the main game and after you finish those, another 54 bonus puzzles are unlocked. These will take you a long time to solve although you can skip tricky puzzles and come back to them later if you want. A missed opportunity in Pushmo is the fact that there are no variations or challenges for the game's puzzles. Each puzzle allows players to take their time to experiment and solve. However, once a puzzle is complete, there is no reason to play it again. If players had the option to replay puzzles while being timed or trying to use less moves then some replay value would be added.

A puzzle editor named Pushmo Studio is also included which is a very simple way to create your own Pushmo puzzles. Some features for Pushmo Studio such as a larger area to work in and the ability to add objects like manholes are unlocked after completing certain puzzles in the main game. After a player creates their puzzle and plays it to prove that it is completable, they can share their creation via a generated QR code. This makes sharing puzzles easy. A lot of user-created puzzles are even better than the puzzles you play in the main game so it's definitely worth checking out for those looking for more puzzles to solve.

Pushmo screenshot 3
These kids sure are happy little tykes

Pushmo seamlessly combines platform and puzzle gameplay in a charming and colourful world. Most gamers will find it challenging and rewarding with tons of content and a solid community of user-generated puzzles.

  • + Combines platform and puzzle gameplay in a fun and unique way
  • + Tons of puzzles to solve
  • + Fantastic presentation brimming with charm
  • - No replay value for puzzles
  • - Jumps requiring precision can be irritating
8.4 out of 10
Official trailer for Pushmo 1:38

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