Frivolous Waste of Time

Sci-fi, fantasy and video games

PullBlox for Nintendo 3DS

PullBlox is probably the most celebrated game yet released on the Nintendo eShop, and it’s not difficult to see why. In many ways it resembles the sort of game that’s become so popular on iOS and Android systems lately; a quirky puzzle game which lends itself perfectly to short bursts of play.

The plot, like Mutant Mudds, is wafer thin. You are Mallow, a rotund little critter who looks a lot like…well, a marshmallow. A nasty kid (he’s wearing a backwards baseball cap backwards so you KNOW he’s trouble) is trapping the kids of the day care in which Mallow works in walls, and it is up to Mallow to save them all. There’s a lot of them. Almost two hundred in fact. Each puzzle is made up of a group of geometric shapes, some simply blocky puzzles and some coming together into the shapes of certain objects, and best of all, some retro Nintendo sprites. Mallow can pull each block out by three, and the child trapped in the wall can only by accessed through sliding these blocks back and forth, jumping between the platforms you make and reaching the top. The first few puzzles are fairly simple, but they can get fiendishly complicated towards the end, to the point that I spent a good two hours solving one puzzle. Time well spent. Things are kept interesting with the addition of tunnels Mallow can warp through and switches which fully extend blocks of a certain colour. The game also contains a feature to let you build your own PullBlox, and it seems fairly robust, although if you’re as uncreative as me there’s more than enough fun to be had with the main game itself.

The game looks nice, with some pleasant colourful visuals. The 3D is useful for gauging how far extended a block is, but it’s not exactly necessary. Unlike Mutant Mudds, PullBlox could pretty well on the iOS or Android, perhaps with a slight shift in camera angle. The music is pleasant enough, but fairly repetitive, and this is one where it’s not worth keeping the sound on. Stick yourself in front of the TV whilst playing, lay back and relax. It’s the best way to enjoy the game in my experience.

There’s not a huge amount to say on this one. Puzzle games aren’t easy to review, the quality which sets them apart is pretty difficult to pin down. Try and define exactly what it is that makes Tetris great and you’re in for a frustrating afternoon. All that can be said is that some have it and some don’t. PullBlox has it. 

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