When Pushmo first launched on the Nintendo 3DS eShop back in late 2011, it provided the first taste of truly unique and fun content that Nintendo’s digital service was previously lacking. This new entry in the franchise doesn’t serve such a large role, but is a very fun title whether or not you have experienced the original.
At its core, Pushmo World’s gameplay is nearly identical to that of its 3DS predecessor with a few minor tweaks. The player takes control of Mallo, an adorable little creature who seems to resemble a blend of a sumo wrestler, a cat, and a marshmallow. Pushmo World’s puzzles are towers constructed from colored blocks which can be pushed and pulled in order to climb the Pushmo and save the child stuck at the top.
While these stages are simple at first, they gradually grow more complex. This is done through increasing the size of the Pushmo and with the introduction of different elements such as manholes and switches that affect all the blocks of a certain color. If you have played the original, you should be fairly quick to get the hang of things. However, Pushmo World’s plethora of puzzles are all entirely new.
Returning from the 3DS game is the robust Pushmo creator, which allows you to essentially create the Pushmo of your dreams. This process is made much easier in Pushmo World due to the fact that the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen is substantially larger than that found on the 3DS. Levels can be turned into QR codes to share with whoever the heck you want. In fact, you can transfer levels made in Pushmo on 3DS to this game, and vice versa – in most cases.
Pushmo World’s best new feature is, without a doubt, World Pushmo Fair. This is a fairly basic but easy to use online service for sharing, playing, and downloading user-created levels that have been uploaded using Miiverse. You can choose to play recently uploaded or popular Pushmo, and if you like it enough you can give feedback to its creator or save it to your game for future use. It seems like these features will help Pushmo World remain a fun, fresh title long after its release.
One of the main selling points of Pushmo was its impressive stereoscopic 3D effect, which isn’t present here. In an attempt to make up for this, Pushmo World provides the player with more freedom over the camera. In addition, despite a simple visual style, Pushmo World looks very clean in HD. The soundtrack is actually rather unique, as it blends some basic 8-bit chiptunes with more traditional instruments, and does so very well.
Pushmo World feels like a game that’s caught between being a remake and a sequel. It mainly focuses on improving the original experience, which also adding a handful of new mechanics to mess around with. If you’ve never played Pushmo on 3DS, this is a must-have Wii U title. If you are already familiar with the game, I recommend Pushmo World if the idea of virtually infinite new stages in the same style is appealing to you.