Pullblox/Pushmo Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by danweb, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. danweb

    danweb GBAtemp Fan

    Jul 24, 2009
    DanWeb Reviews Pullblox/Pushmo​

    Pullblox/Pushmo is an innovative puzzle game avaliable on the 3DS's eShop developed by Intelligent Systems. This is the same company that gave us the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series, two amazing turn based strategy games. This alone makes Pullblox/Pushmo an exciting release but it is the game itself that really shines.

    In Pullblox/Pushmo you are tasked with saving a large collection of young children from being stuck in park equipment. This equipment is a collection of large toys that are a variety of shapes made up of different sections that can be pulled out to 3 different levels. If you pull out certain areas you will be able to jump up onto them and pull another section. If you push and pull different areas in the right order you will be able to reach the top of the tower and save the stuck child. I did not understand the need for a storyline like this. It was boring and just meant more text to read before I could get started at the brilliant puzzles. That was another issue with the game, too much text. For a fairly simple puzzle game the developers chose to force ridiculous amounts of tutorial text and little things that can easily be worked out by yourself are explained more than once such as jumping. I'm very sad to say there are three tutorials on how to jump including such exciting sections as "jumping basics," "jumping gaps," "diagonal jumps" and 12 extra lessons informing us which jumps are possible (6) and which jumps are impossible (6). All of these lengthy tutorials are forced upon you and must be completed to progress to the fun stuff. The old man giving you all of this information also takes ages to pop up the speech bubble load the text and then move onto the next bit of text. I am, however, happy to say that when the first 18 tutorial levels are finally over you get an awesome set Of 54 levels before you reach the next set of 18 tutorial levels. The tutorial levels do go reasonably quickly in comparison to the real level as they are very straightforward and the old man tells you how to do most of the hard bits. The real levels, however, look easy, and they are at the beginning, but as you go further and further through the story the puzzles get harder and can take quite a while to complete the smallest of puzzles. This difficulty increase is done at the perfect pace and makes the game more and more entertaining the more you play it. This is what makes the game so addicting. Once you start playing and going through the puzzles you can hardly help yourself but to do 'just one more'. Another factor that helps this is that when you reach the end of a level you have only two options, "next level" and "replay level." This makes it impossible, without going into another level, to go back to the menu and select a different level, redo a tutorial, change options or design your own level in the Pullblox/Pushmo Studio. The Studio also has a slow and lengthy tutorial but it is far more necessary as there are a few tools that you must become familiar with. It is reasonably easy to get the hang of all the tools and using the stylus to create your own levels is intuitive. The ability to give your puzzles to friends using the AR codes is a fantastic feature although I wish there was an online database of user created levels.

    The graphics are as you would expect from a downloadable game on the DS. They aren't the greatest but that doesn't really matter. What is important about the graphics is the style that it is in and Intelligent Systems selected a cartoony approach and I think it works well with the story and gameplay. They also used this style to appeal to a younger audience but i think some of the later puzzles, even some of the early ones, would be far too hard for them. They may end up using the skip level feature. The 3D feature works well in the menus but in game it tends to fuzz out the sides of the screen as the background image is so far off into the distance and that fuzz is distracting so I turn off the feature in game. Thank goodness the 3DS allows us to turn it on and off so quickly as I like to turn on the effect again while holding the R button in game as this gives a front on view of the puzzle and with the 3D effect on you can easily see which blocks are pulled out and how far.

    The sound is quite similar to that of the popular mobile game Angry Birds. A light tune for the menu and music after winning a level that is the same every time. The sound is nothing too amazing but it isn't bad either.

    Like most puzzle games Pullblox/Pushmo doesn't have much replay value as once you have beaten a level it isn't really worth playing it again. Because there are such a large number of levels you could go through the game and come back to the start and have forgotten how to finish many of the levels but you don't really feel compelled to go back to any of the levels. An online database of levels would make the game last far longer and will hopefully be put in with a future update, but there has been no mention of this feature.

    In the end Pullblox/Pushmo is a lightly polished downloadable puzzle game. If you play all of the levels and have a few goes at creating your own creations and maybe playing your friends' it is worth the small cost they are asking for it. I would like an online database of levels in game with easy access to lengthen the game but you can have everything. Pullblox/Pushmo is definitely worth buying for any puzzle game fan.