Pushmo

Common Sense Media says

Engaging and affordable puzzler, with great replay.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game makes it fun to use your head (rather than swords or guns) to solve problems.

Positive role models

The game’s hero -- a strange creature that seems part sumo wrestler and part cute animal -- climbs towers to save kids stranded atop their peaks. He doesn’t talk much or do anything that players can realistically emulate, but his actions suggest altruism and selflessness.

Ease of play

Many of the game’s puzzles can be harder to solve than they appear. However, if you can’t reason out the solution, a combination of determination and trial-and-error should be enough to figure it out. Plus, a 30-second rewind feature makes it easy to undo any accidents (like missed jumps that would otherwise force you to start pushing and pulling from scratch).

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns. Players can create QR codes for puzzles they create and share these codes with their friends.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pushmo is an inexpensive downloadable puzzle game available for the Nintendo 3DS through the Nintendo eShop. Players are presented with three-dimensional puzzles that involve pushing and pulling blocks in order to create stairs up to the top of a tower. The content is completely innocuous, and the puzzles force kids to use their heads to noodle out solutions. However, they aren’t easy. Kids without patience could lose interest or become frustrated. Pushmo comes with a simple stage editor that lets you design your own puzzles to be shared with others. Parents should remember that Nintendo suggests children under the age of 7 not play 3DS games with 3D functionality switched on, as stereoscopic effects may damage developing vision. Parents can turn off the 3D functionality by using the device's parental controls.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • measurement

Hobbies

  • building

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • analyzing evidence
  • logic

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Satisfyingly puzzles and a dash of simple platformer-style jumping action meld to create a truly and unexpectedly compelling little game experience.

Learning Approach

Challenging contextual logic puzzles require players to devise paths up three-dimensional structures. Later, they can put what they've learned to use in a different way by designing and sharing their own puzzles.

Support

The game provides just enough direction to ensure kids are familiar with all the mechanics, then sets them loose. Some puzzles are a lot harder than others, and many kids will likely need to look online for solutions.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • measurement

Hobbies

  • building

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • analyzing evidence
  • logic

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn about puzzle solving and how to author their own conundrums and share them with others in this innovative puzzle game. Players will practice their logic and spatial reasoning skills as they solve tricky puzzles that require them to create paths up three-dimensional structures. Then they'll put what they've learned to use in a different way by designing their own puzzles and creating QR codes that they can use to share their creations with other players. Pushmo lets players use their heads to solve complex 3D puzzles and then offers a kind of crash course in puzzle game design. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Each stage in PUSHMO, an innovative collection of blocky conundrums, is a tower composed of several sliding parts. Players control a pudgy, blushing sumo wrestler with a cute, cat/rabbit-like face, who pushes and pulls pieces forward and back to create steps up to each tower’s summit and rescue kids stranded there. The catch is that you have limited room to move about -- the field is just three spaces deep -- and you can’t pull pieces onto the blocks on which you stand (though you can sometimes tug blocks forward by gripping their sides). Pushmo comes with about 200 spatial stumpers gathered into themed groups. You can also design your own puzzles in a simple stage editor and then create a QR code that can be shared with other players.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Pushmo is one of the best original downloadable games yet for Nintendo’s fledgling stereoscopic handheld. Its puzzles are satisfyingly easy to understand yet often quite challenging. No small amount of lateral thinking is required in order to solve all of the included conundrums, which only become trickier as new elements such as warp holes and switches come into play. Add in a dash of simple platformer-style jumping action as you move from one block to another and you have a truly and unexpectedly compelling little experience.

Gamers can expect to spend at least a few weeks working through all 200 brainteasers if they move at a casual pace; a great value for a game that costs just seven bucks.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ways we solve puzzles in the real world, from figuring out the best route to a distant location to stacking dishes in limited space in a cupboard. Do you think puzzle games like this improve your reasoning skills?

  • Families can also discuss the notion of authoring puzzles. How do you go about figuring out what might be a challenging but fair test of someone else’s abilities? Do you work backwards from a solution, or start from the perspective of the person who will solve it?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$6.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:December 16, 2011
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Pushmo was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bylikitha January 25, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

nice game.................................

please play
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old March 17, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A must have for anyone who has a 3DS. Great hard puzzler that never gets old. Keep it up Nintendo!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide