Nintendo 3DS

Crashmo Playtest: Get Ready To Crash And Burn With Tougher Puzzles


Crashmo starts out in a funnier fashion than its predecessor, Pushmo, did. Papa Blox, creator of the Pushmo puzzles, has a grand-niece named Poppy flying in for a visit. Poppy turns up in a flying gadget that relies on a flock of birds to carry it, and Mallo, lovestruck at first sight, decides to put his best foot forward to impress her.


…literally, with a majestic earth-shattering sumo stomp that makes the ground tremble and scares all the poor birds away. Damn it. Now, Poppy won’t be able to go home until you get all those darned birds back into her flying contraption.


It turns out the poor frightened birds all flew right into Crashmo Park, where they’re perched atop various block-climbing puzzles, and you’ll have to climb your way up each one to get them down, just like in Pushmo. This time around, however, you’re going to be taking on “Crashmo” puzzles, which are more more complex versions of their Pushmo counterparts.


Your goals and basic controls in Crashmo are the same as they were in Pushmo, with a few new features. Here’s an example of a basic Crashmo puzzle from the game’s tutorial that will highlight the primary differences between this game and Pushmo:


A basic Crashmo puzzle. The goal is to create a path to the top.


Using the D-Pad now lets you zoom in and out.


Step 1: I moved the entire contraption one block to the right.


One more block to the right, and the pink block on top falls to the ground.


After some experimenting, I then moved the block around in front of the puzzle.


Ready to push! (The pink block is orange because I’m grabbing it)

In Crashmo, pushing a block pushes the other blocks that are in front of it, too.


Pushing the contraption back causes the blocks on top to fall and create stairs.


Puzzle solved! You can also rotate the camera around the puzzle.


Those are the basic additions to Crashmo puzzles. Blocks can now fall to the ground and can be separated from each other entirely. You can move blocks around on the grid as you like, so you aren’t dealing with just one solid structure any more. You’ll be separating and rejoining structures a whole lot. Some puzzles make extensive use of moving structures around, like this one:


The same goal as always. Create a path to the birdie.


I moved behind the puzzle. (You can tell since the pink block is on the left now)


After experimenting for a solution, I moved the pink block into this position.


Pushing the pink block forward moves the yellow blocks forward, too.

However, the blue block doesn’t fall because I pushed the pink one under it.

Then, I came back around to the front, and climbed up the new stairs…


…and moved the blue block one to the left, causing it to drop.


Mission accomplished! This is how it looks from behind at the end.


Naturally, being able to move things around freely makes puzzles trickier and much easier to screw up in Crashmo. It’s a good thing that the reset buttons—the triangular shapes on the ground—allow you to start over. The “rewind” feature makes a return, too, allowing you to undo your last few steps.


Another handy feature is that if you get stuck on a puzzle, talking to Papa Blox offers you a hint on how to proceed. Also, Crashmo lets you take screenshots of the game, which is a feature I put to use for this playtest. You can press Start during a puzzle, and then the X button to take a screenshot. Finally, just like in Pushmo, you can also create your own puzzles and share them with other people using QR codes.


That’s Crashmo in a nutshell. It’s a trickier, tougher take on the Pushmo concept. Puzzles get tougher more quickly, and if you’ve exhausted all the content in Pushmo, this should make you happy. If you haven’t played Pushmo yet, I’d recommend starting out with that game before you graduate to Crashmo.


Crashmo will be available for download on the Nintendo eShop starting today.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.