Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Pushmo

Go To
Pushmo (also called Pullblox in PAL regions) is a 2011 puzzle game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. You play as a little Cartoon Creature akin to a sumo wrestler known as Mallo, who pulls and pushes on blocks to create platforms which he then climbs on to progress through the level.

A sequel, Crashmo (also known as Fallblox) was released a year later. In this game, rather than manipulating depth, the blocks are affected by gravity and must thus be manipulated in different ways.

The third game, Pushmo World (Pullblox World in PAL regions) was released to the Wii U in Summer 2014. It's a Mission-Pack Sequel to the original Pushmo that returns to that game's mechanics while adding in new puzzle elements.

Another sequel, Stretchmo (Fullblox) was released in 2015. Like Crashmo, it features a new variation on the game mechanic; this time allowing blocks to be pulled out to the sides instead of just forward and back. Unlike the other games, this one is "free-to-start" (as Nintendo puts it); with everything past the tutorial puzzles sold separately in different bundles. Stretchmo also introduces the option to play as other characters depending on the pack.

The Pushmo series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Anti Poop-Socking: Papa Blox, the Pushmos' creator, would sometimes advice you to "take a break" after completing a stage. The robot guides in Stretchmo do the same if you play a good deal of levels.
  • Cat Smile: All the characters have a variation of this as their default expression, as well as the Floatos.
  • Console Cameo: The 2nd stage of 'Murals 2' of the 3DS version of Pushmo is a giant blue Nintendo 3DS.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": The reason Papa Blox can't help you in later stages. In Stretchmo, however, he states his back feels much better and as such, you can control him in the NES Expo pack.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • The puzzles in the story have you rescuing the children that all got stuck in the Pushmos while playing on them. Once you've saved them all and you revisit the levels, the children are replaced with flags. Puzzles outside the story have flags as well.
    • In Crashmo, the storyline is instead to rescue the birds belonging to Mallo's friend.
    • Stretchmo seems not to have a plot at all and seems to be: "here are some puzzles; have some fun." However, in Mallo's Playtime Plaza, it's revealed that one of the robot guides went haywire and reset the Stretchmo puzzles with the children still on them, basically repeating the first game's plot.
  • Forced Tutorial: Not only is there a long intro, tutorial, AND set of practice puzzles, but you can't even scan Pushmo codes that you haven't unlocked the contents for yet; if you try to do so, Papa Blox says "This is too hard for you!"note .
  • Just One More Level!: Upon completing or skipping a puzzle, the game immediately presents the next puzzle. No longer the case in Crashmo. Even after finishing them all, there's the Level Editor to create and play your own levels, or others scanned with the QR Code.
  • Level Editor: You can make Pushmos (and Crashmos and Stretchmos) and share them with a QR code! For those less artistically-inclined, the 3DS games include a "copy from Papa Blox" option that includes pre-made puzzles which the player can make into playable stages, though they often require the addition of goals or gadgets.
  • Marathon Level: Each final level takes quite long for players to finish, all while sporting some very impressive and creative designs.
    • Mallo's final level is "Seascape", a level clearly taking up the maximum possible puzzle size, as it's a large cube design featuring fish, seaweed, and even a whale.
    • Poppy's final level is "Rocket", which has you climbing up a well-designed 3-D rocket ship.
    • Corin's final level, after a recurring dinosaur theme, has you climbing the massive and stunning "Dragon".
    • Papa Blox finishes his pack with a massive 3-D "Metroid."
    • The Perilous Peak sports a remade version of a bonus puzzle from the first game; the Eiffel Tower.
  • Market-Based Title: In the US, the games are called Pushmo, Crashmo, Pushmo World, and Stretchmo; while in PAL regions, the games are called Pullblox, Fallblox, Pullblox World, and Fullblox.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The titular puzzles were invented by a kindly old man named "Papa Blox". In fact, the puzzles are even named after him in the PAL versions of the gamesnote .
    • The US titles are the same when you consider Mallo resembles and poses akin to a sumo wrestler, and all the names are portmanteus of "push/crash/stretch" and "sumo."
  • Mini-Game Credits: A jumping game to collect 100 stars.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Pushmo World is essentially the original Pushmo game but with different puzzles, more features and Scenery Porn (to take advantage of the Wii U's huge amount of power compared to the 3DS), to the point that not only is it backwards-compatible with QR codes made with the 3DS version of the game, but codes made on the Wii U can be used on the 3DS as long as they don't include any of the new elements.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The story of Crashmo begins with Mallo's relative coming for a visit on a bird-powered balloon. Mallo inadvertently scares away all of the birds and has to get them back. Whoopsie!
  • Nintendo Hard: Around world 3 of each game, things get pretty hard. In Stretchmo's other packs, some of the levels can get hard at even the first world.
  • Player Creation Sharing: Players can publish levels they made by sharing QR codes.
  • Promoted to Playable: Poppy, Corin, and Papa Blox in Stretchmo, albeit in their respective level packs only.
  • Puzzle Platformer: An interesting case as you're the one making the platforms.
  • Reset Button: A literal one exists at the front of each puzzle.
  • Schmuck Bait: Just because a puzzle has a switch in it, don't assume you need to push it in order to solve the puzzle. In fact, pressing some switches will make puzzles unsolvable. The game lampshades this by having Papa Blox caution you not to get tricked by unnecessary gadgets.
  • Shout-Out: The Nintendo Murals stage has Mario and Zelda-themed Pushmo puzzles. Stretchmo has an entire bundle dedicated to NES sprite puzzles.
  • Time Master: Kind of, you can press L (Y in Stretchmo) to rewind time to undo mistakes.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Defied. It's possible to mess up the puzzle, but there's always a reset and reverse-time button.

Alternative Title(s): Pullblox