Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Crashmo Game Poster Image
Fun, cheap puzzle game promotes logic and puzzle creation.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about puzzle solving, spatial reasoning, and game design in this challenging and creative collection of conundrums. Tower puzzles require players to use both logic and imagination as they consider which way to pull, push, and slide blocks to make them fall into climbable staircases. Then kids can try their hand at creating their own puzzles, where they'll learn how to think like a game designer who has to consider how players react to the puzzles they create. They may even make art out of their puzzle designs.   

Positive Messages

This game encourages kids to use logic as they noodle out solutions to various block-pushing conundrums. It also provides an outlet for creative expression in its puzzle-building modes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players control a strange sumo wrestling animal whose goal is to retrieve birds sitting atop towers of blocks. He doesn't talk, but his efforts are intended to help his friends.

Ease of Play

A lengthy series of tutorials plus additional training levels explain how the game works and provide tips for different strategies. Plus, players can ask for hints when they get stuck during the first 20 levels. That said, some of the puzzles are still really tough and could leave players stumped for long stretches. Happily, you can always skip them and move on to the next, then come back to retry the trickier ones at your leisure.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crashmo is a puzzle game only available for download through the 3DS eShop store for Nintendo 3DS. It presents players with scores of challenging three-dimensional block puzzles that will put their reasoning skills to the test. It's completely free of iffy content. The only thing parents may need to keep an eye on are the puzzles that players can create and swap with one another. Kids can only share with their friends, so there's no worry of inappropriate online interactions, but mischievous players could decide to turn their blocky creations into suggestive art.

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What's it about?

A sequel to Pushmo -- one of the best downloadable games available for Nintendo 3DS -- CRASHMO returns players to a park filled with blocky towers in need of manipulation. This time out our hero -- a pudgy red cat named Mallo dressed in sumo wrestling garb -- has accidentally scared away a bunch of birds with one of his big stomps. The feathery creatures have nested atop jumbles of blocks, and the only way to get them down is to rearrange these piles so that Mallo can ascend to their peaks. Kids push, pull, and slide individual pieces paying careful attention to where those above will fall in hopes of creating serpentine paths that lead up around, and through the fallen blocks. Outside Mallo's quest, players can explore a studio mode that allows them to create their own puzzles, then share them with other players via automatically generated QR codes.

Is it any good?

Puzzle fans will have a blast with this cleverly conceived sequel. The puzzles feel much the same as those found in Pushmo, save a few important changes. The most important is that the puzzle arena is now a little bigger and players can move the camera all the way around the tower. That means players have to think about the tower in three dimensions, exploring paths that lead up not just its front but also its sides and back. It makes things a bit trickier, but you can always just skip ahead and move on to the next should you run into something you just can't crack.

Factor in the return of the studio mode -- which can be used not only to create new puzzles to share with friends but also to make simple, block-based art -- and you have a wonderful and affordable little eShop game that offers a good deal more entertainment than many full-priced boxed games in stores.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about puzzles. What sorts of puzzles do you solve outside of games? How do you use logic to figure out solutions to the problems you face every day? Could these problems be translated into a game?

  • Families can also discuss being creative and making things. When you create something it's often meant simply to be viewed and admired. Puzzles and games, on the other hand, are things that other people end up interacting with. How does that change your approach to creation?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Subjects: Science: engineering, physics
    Arts: sculpture
    Math: shapes
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
    Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, logic, solving puzzles
  • Price: $5.00
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: November 25, 2012
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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