PN Review: Pushmo World
Pushmo World is the first title from this fairly new Nintendo franchise to land on their home console, Wii U. The first two games, Pushmo and Crashmo, both released on 3DS and I did not have the pleasure of playing either one. With that being said, I really can’t compare the newest Pushmo title to its predecessors. I do have to say though from a Pushmo novice standpoint that Pushmo World is quite fantastic and no previous Pushmo experience is needed to jump right into Pushmo World.
The objective in Pushmo World is just like past games in the series and players will use Mallo, the main character, to push or pull colored blocks to climb the puzzles or Pushmo, as they are called in the game, to reach the goal. The Pushmo puzzles start off very easy but will get harder as the game goes on. Some of the Pushmo that are supposed to be a little more difficult can sometimes be fairly easy to complete but there are others that will provide a fair amount of challenge and will take some time to complete. There are quite a large number of the puzzles as the trailer touts 250 puzzles. As of this review I am about 18 hours in and have cleared all the Tutorial and Mysterious Pushmo (more on this in a second) and have only completed 80 or so of the normal levels found in Pushmo Park.
Pushmo World begins with a quite extensive set of tutorial levels that are found in the Training Area and will familiarize new Pushmo players, like myself, with every aspect of Pushmo puzzles. The Training Area is not available immediately upon starting the game for the first time but rather unlocked after playing through same of the initial Pushmo. While players are never required to finish the 50 tutorial levels to advance in the normal levels found in Pushmo Park, they can be quite helpful to those who have never played Pushmo games before. But completing the tutorials in the Training Area is recommended as this will unlock a whole new section of Pushmo World called Mysterious Pushmo.
Mysterious Pushmo are a kind of challenge level for Pushmo ‘masters’. They introduce unique puzzles for those looking for an extra challenge. These Mysterious Pushmo puzzles include Linked Blocks (where blocks of the same color move in sync with one another), Ying Yang Blocks (where black and white colored blocks move opposite of each other), and Timed Blocks (where blocks in the puzzle are only pulled out for a limited amount of time). These puzzles also range in difficulty, similar to the regular puzzles, and some are easier than others but again there are quite a few challenging Pushmo in the Mysterious area of Pushmo World. Based on the Pushmo I’ve completed in Pushmo Park, the Mysterious Pushmo are far more challenging than the ones found in the Park.
The ability to create and share Pushmo is back! Having never used this feature before, I found it quite easy to jump in and begin creating my first Pushmo. Pushmo Studio, the Pushmo creation portion of Pushmo World, is only unlocked after playing through part of the game and it was quite fun and satisfying to create my own Pushmo. The feature is very easy to understand and use but it may be a little overwhelming for younger gamers as Pushmo are quite complex puzzles. After Pushmo are created they can be shared on Miiverse or by QR code. This is all done through the Pushmo Studio feature but Pushmo World owners can also get more out of Pushmo World by visiting World Pushmo Fair.
World Pushmo Fair is where all of the Pushmo made by gamers can be found. This feature was not yet available as of this writing but it can be assumed that this will greatly expand the replayability of Pushmo World. Especially as more gamers get their hands on Pushmo World after launch and begin creating some Pushmo, there will be quite a few more Pushmo puzzles available other than the initial 250. Miiverse Stamps are also included in Pushmo World and can be used once unlocked by successfully completing a set of Pushmo.
Pushmo World is a colorful, fun, and adorable game. The graphics seem to be better on Wii U than on 3DS, which is to be expected, but I was pleasantly surprised by the animated environments that players will find themselves solving Pushmo in. The sound design and music don’t seem to stray too much from what is originally found in Pushmo and Crashmo so don’t expect any audible surprises but the sounds of Pushmo World are charming and unobtrusive. Overall, Pushmo World might be one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. I really hope that Nintendo continues developing more Pushmo titles as this one has convinced me that I must go back and pick up the original Pushmo and Crashmo for the 3DS.