Pushmo 3DS Review

Pushmo is so good. Nintendo and Intelligent Systems' newest release is big enough to be a full retail game, with over 250 unique puzzles and a level editor that lets you share creations with friends. Surprisingly, the big N made this title downloadable through the 3DS eShop, then made it a steal at $6.99.

Make no mistake. If you own a 3DS, this game belongs in your collection.

The word "Pushmo" doesn't refer to a character or action, but the puzzles themselves. Each individual Pushmo tasks you with rescuing a child imprisoned by some rascal inside a specially marked block.

To do this, you approach what are essentially walls comprised of individually colored blocks and pull and push them to create a path that lets Mallo, the game's main character, reach to trapped youngster.

The 18-lesson tutorial teaches you the basics. You should have no problem clearing it in 20 minutes, maybe less. Once Nintendo kicks off the training wheels, though, the game becomes considerably more difficult. You don't just walk up to a Pushmo and begin pulling like a crazy person. Granted, you may accidentally stumble upon the solution, but for the most part, you'll need to carefully study the different shapes in search of a pattern that may not be immediately recognizable. You may need to pull out one block, hop onto a platform, pull out yet another, then jump down and push in the original block you initially pulled out.

What's especially cool about this title is the 3D. Nintendo utilizes it to great effect, as blocks appear at various depths, depending on how far you push or pull each one. You don't need to switch on glasses free 3D to play this game. It works just fine without it, but we strongly suggest adjusting the slider to get the most from the experience.

Thing is, the game doesn't end with the final puzzle. The developers also included a level editor that lets you create your own Pushmo puzzles, up to 90. This feature is surprisingly deep, giving you the chance to mix different color patterns and dream up cool designs. It's both simple to use (largely stylus driven) and fun, extending the life of Pushmo long after you've beaten it, which will admittedly take some time.

Even better, you can share your puzzles with others via QR Codes, read by the 3DS camera. You can even search for codes online. We've already seen some great stages designed to resemble Mario, Yoshi, Mega Man and Metroid.

Pushmo is without question one of the best 3DS games we've played. It's great to see Nintendo step outside its comfort zone of critically acclaimed franchises and do something original that's both immensely entertaining and a neat showpiece for the hardware. Don't resist the urge. Download this gem immediately.

What's Hot: Wonderful concept, over 250 puzzles, fun level editor, sharing Pushmo with friends, cool 3D effects.

What's Not: How to share Pushmo with other players is a bit vague.

5/5