Published on December 11th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Platform: Nintendo 3DS eShop
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Release Date: November 22, 2012
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
The “Mo” series is quickly becoming a hit on the Nintendo eShop. Following the success of Pushmo comes Crashmo, another game developed by Intelligent Systems for the Nintendo 3DS.
Building off the success of Pushmo, Crashmo adds new gameplay mechanics that make it stand out from its predecessor and makes it easily one of the best eShop games to date.
Crashmo features a character named Mallo who must manipulate blocks to reach the top the structure to rescue a bird. Where in Pushmo the blocks could only be moved from front to back, this game allows for the blocks to be moved from left to right. In theory these mechanics sound simple, but gravity affects the blocks as to how they move about.
In addition to gravity impacting movement, there are now floating blocks that defy gravity and stay still. Doors and switches are also used, which leads to some severe brain teasing.
The brain teasing can be a bit too much at times though. While fans of the puzzle genre will love the challenge, I could see many younger gamers and novices to puzzle games becoming quickly frustrated. This could become a turn off towards the game.
The difficulty curve is a bit steep, but the tutorial is well done, breaking down the basic elements to the puzzles.
The feeling of success when you finally conquer a puzzle is well worth the agony, it just depends on how much punishment you can take. There is the option for hints however, and if you feel like you have messed up the puzzle beyond repair you can blow it up and start fresh. Also, there is a feature to reverse time which is mapped the ‘L’ trigger, so you can erase that pesky mistake you just made without losing the entire puzzle progress.
Luckily, the controls are very well done and simple, and the addition of a rotating camera mapped to the ‘R’ trigger allow for an easier way to look at the puzzle that lies ahead of you. Moving blocks is seamless and tight, and everything works very well, which is important in a game as taxing on the mind as this one is.
The graphics of the game are very bright and colorful as well, albeit a bit simplistic. The Mallo sprite himself looks well done, and the 3D effects are subtle, but make the puzzles stand out with depth. The blocks each have an individual color which makes for easy distinction between them which is important. A whimsical soundtrack accompanies the bright atmosphere leading to an appeasing experience on the eyes and ears.
You get a lot of bang for your buck. With over 100 puzzles to solve, there is no shortage of content. Along with that is the ability to make your own puzzles and share them with friends via QR code. I would have loved to have been able to download people’s creations online, but maybe they are saving that for the next game in the series.
Crashmo is a brilliant evolution of what was an already solid title as seen in Pushmo. Intelligent Systems really seems to have found their stride with their eShop offerings, and puzzle fans will be delighted with the new game play additions in Crashmo. The game may be very difficult at times, but the sense of accomplishment from tackling a mind bending puzzle is very rewarding.
Puzzle fans should pick this up immediately because of the well rounded package, and gamers looking for a challenge will not be disappointed either. I’d recommend that newcomers to the genre should expect their brains to be sore, but rewarded. Crashmo is a true delight to play.
[xrr label=”Rating: 9/10″ rating=9/10]
+Expands upon the Pushmo game
+ Over 100 puzzles to solve
+ Clever game play
– Difficult for newbies to puzzle games
– No online feature to share custom created puzzles