Pushmo also has a handy reset switch at the beginning of the stage which resets all of the blocks to their original position. But if you get truly stuck the game allows you to skip any stage and head off to the next one. All in all, in typical Nintendo fashion Pushmo allows veteran puzzlers to feel like they aren't having their hand held, while at the same time letting newcomers feel welcome without getting frustrated as they learn the ropes.
With over 250 puzzles the main story mode will test even the most veteran puzzler's prowess, but at some point one is bound to finish all of them --- this is where Pushmo's “Pushmo Studio” mode comes into play. After completing the first stage of tutorial levels this mode opens up and allows players to make their own pushmo. As one would surmise after seeing screenshots of the game, Pushmo's block system really works well in creating 8 and 16-bit sprites, which even Nintendo did themselves with a number of Mario-based sprites found in the game's own built-in puzzles. And unlike other editors such as the one found in Mario Kart or Animal Crossing, Pushmo's editor is flexible enough to mix preset colors to create various values and hues. Completing the more advanced stages opens up new items such as the switches and pipes, so there's a reason to keep playing the main story mode after initially unlocking the studio.
Of course, once you create your own custom level you'll want to share it with your friends. While the game doesn't support the handheld's native StreetPass or SpotPass features it does allow you to create a custom QR code to share with friends in lieu of the online sharing features we saw in prior online-enabled Nintendo DS and DSiWare titles the past. While some might object to this approach and bemoan at the lack of local automatic sharing options it's not a huge detraction from the overall feature.
It's clear that Pushmo was developed solely for Nintendo's 3D-enabled handheld. Pushmo really benefits from the effect as telling the position of each block and where objects such as the pipes are located is much easier thanks to the added depth perception. Pushmo's Crayola-like approach with its simple shapes and objects works alongside the 3D effect and doesn't suffer any ghosting. The soundtrack isn't mind blowing, but it is fitting of the game's art direction.
It's taken a while for the Nintendo 3DS to hit its stride and it's been even longer for the Nintendo eShop, but with Pushmo Nintendo has finally turned things around. It's an enjoyable puzzle game with plenty of depth. Anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS and has a wireless connection should head online and download this title. Pushmo is easily the best eShop title so far and is by far one of the best downloadable games Nintendo's released to date. If you enjoy puzzles at all, Pushmo is a no-brainer.
|» One of Nintendo's best downloadable titles to date.|
|» Simple, but effective puzzle mechanics.|
|» Makes great use of the 3D.|
|» Sharing options are very limited.|
|» Soundtrack isn't mind blowing.|
|» Some might find it a little too tempting to skip levels if they're stuck.|