Pushmo is a smartly designed puzzle game that offers far more value than its asking price.

User Rating: 10 | Pushmo 3DS
Have you ever played a game that's so simple in its design, yet it's brilliant and original? That's exactly what Pushmo is. Pushmo is an eShop puzzle game by Intelligent Systems, makers of the fine Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, and Paper Mario series, among other titles. In the game, you're tasked with rescuing little children from a set of blocks called Pushmo. The Pushmo appear as flat objects, but they are in fact 3D shapes; by pulling out these shapes, you create platforms that assist you in reaching your destination. What was once a block puzzle ends up becoming a simple platformer, and vice versa; it's this back-and-forth that makes Pushmo so unique and compelling. The idea of pushing and pulling blocks is such a simple concept, but the implementation is mind-blowing.

Pushmo boasts 250 levels, so you'll be kept busy for quite a while. As you progress through the game, you'll be introduced to new features that make the puzzles even more complex-and more entertaining. The levels you encounter will consist of all sorts of shapes and sizes, including those based on the real world. Being a Nintendo game, you can expect to see some familiar characters in the form of puzzles. The stereoscopic 3D is used to great effect because it helps you to judge distances and block depth (very important!). Even if you turn off the 3D, you're still in good hands since the block depth is colour-coded. Either way, you will be able to tell immediately if a block can be pulled or pushed some more. The best kinds of puzzles are the ones that have multiple solutions, and Pushmo has them in spades.

So, Pushmo already sounds like a fun game, right? But I haven't even gotten to the best part: you can create your own levels. They could have stopped at the 250 levels and called it a day, but when you're given the ability to create your own Pushmo and share them over the Internet, well...the replay value is virtually endless. The level editor, called Pushmo Studio, is as simple and brilliant as the game itself. Basically, anything you draw becomes a level. You don't even have to be an artist to make something recognizable; scribbling something on a whim could be a legitimately challenging level. Once your masterpiece is finished, you must play and complete the level before you can create a QR code and upload it to the Internet. This ensures that any level created by you or someone else can be completed, no matter how complex it may look. You are your own quality control!

At $6.99, Pushmo offers a lot of value with its numerous levels, but the inclusion of an elegant level editor makes the game a steal. I would easily have paid double for a game like this, but at its current price, Pushmo is a must-own, no excuses. Pushmo is a textbook example of the kinds of games a developer could make when they're given creative freedom without fear of breaking the bank.