Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Pushmo

Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

There is a right way and a wrong way to make a downloadable game. The wrong way is Sakura Samurai's way: Cool concept, lackluster execution. The right way? Pushmo. Cool concept, great execution, and a whole lot to do.

Pushmo is like this: They hand you a structure called a Pushmo, and you can pull blocks of the structure forward and backward in order to create steps. You use those steps to get to a predetermined point on the structure in order to rescue someone trapped in the structure. It sounds fairly complicated, but Pushmo does a fantastic job explaining exactly what needs to be done.

There are few things that make Pushmo work. One, most of the puzzles are devious. I found myself staring at puzzles blankly wondering what the heck I needed to do to get to the top. However, none of them are really impossible, just require a little bit of thinking.

Two, the difficulty curve is fantastic. They introduce concepts easily and slide them in alongside things you already know. If you've spent a while on a puzzle and can't figure it out, you can skip on to the next one, which is great.

Three, there are a ton of puzzles, and if you finish them all you can create your own with the Pushmo Studio and then share them with others using QR codes. That means that there's always plenty to do.

I'm impressed by Pushmo. Not only is it deep, but it's cute, the graphics are sharp, the music is fun and not very cloying, and it's a ton of fun. If you have a 3DS, buy Pushmo.

Final Grade: A

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