With recent success of their presentation in E3 2014, Nintendo may actually start pushing Wii U sales up as the game library starts to fill up with more than just kiddie stuff. But then again, that’s what Nintendo is known for in the first place, and not all gamers are into the flash and bang style of games full of violence and bullets flying all over the place. Maybe that and the new Super Smash Brothers can finally put Nintendo’s recent woes to rest. In the meantime, you and your friends can pass the time with this new game.
Pushmo World is a puzzle game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Wii U as a sequel to previous games Pushmo and Crashmo for the 3DS. Nintendo previous came out with Tomodachi Life for the 3DS, which was both successful and controversial at the same time. While their handheld is enjoying sales, their Wii U console has been the butt of jokes since it was released, and Mario Kart 8, as good as it is, still isn’t doing enough to push it. It’s not likely that Pushmo World will convince more people to buy the Wii U, but it’s still a pretty good puzzle game in its own right.
It was made by the same people behind Fire Emblem: Awakening, as well as the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and the recently announced Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., so there is much optimism behind this game’s quality. It’s one of those really cutesie Nintendo games though, which is obvious right from the visuals. From the stylized characters to the pastel colors and simple 3D rendered graphics that are easy on the eyes. However, this game is more than just its looks as the focus is all about the content, which is the puzzle gameplay that the series is known for.
The type of puzzles that you have to solve are basically these structures that you must push or pull towards the indicated spot on the ground. Each color correspond to a separate block, so you can pull out the bottom one and use that to climb up and pull out the next one partially so that you can climb to the next one. There is a certain sequence that you must figure out in order to pull out every single out into position and solve the whole puzzle. It’s basically a puzzle platformer of sorts since you have to move and jump around to solve the puzzle.
The controls are simple enough to understand since they work like that of a platformer, but with an additional action button. It would have been simple enough to teach these simple controls through a single splash screen, but they instead made a whole tutorial level to show them. It’s not really that necessary and makes the game feel even more kiddie than it already is, which a lot of gamers may not appreciate. At least little kids won’t complain though, so maybe it was called for after all.
If the built-in puzzles are not enough, you can make your own through the level editor, which is easy to understand and use. Since the puzzles are basically made of blocks, it’s easy enough to design one like it’s pixel art, or perhaps like one of those arts and crafts bead sprites that have been getting popular lately. You and your friends can come up for designs that you can make each other solve. Another cool thing about this game is that you can play this through the Wii U GamePad, so it can still feel a bit like a handheld if you want it to.
As far as puzzle games go, this is pretty good on its own. It could have been a handheld release like its predecessors, but it seems that the Wii U could use a boost now to set things up for the games that were announced in E3 2014. It may not feel that new to those who have played Pushmo and Crashmo before. But if you’re new to the series, then perhaps this could be a treat for you with its unique puzzle gameplay.
Tested in Wii U. Final Score: 7.5/10