Pullblox World - Review

Author: Roberto Magistretti
Date: 2021-01-26 06:35:13
Push the blue block from here, pull the red one from there, drag the one on the left a little more to the right ... The life of good old Mallo lasts, for years now engaged in assembling and disassembling (and climbing, too) the gigantic blocky monuments that the level designers of Intelligent Systems have placed in the playgrounds of the Pullblox world. This series was born in 2011 on 3DS and which, a year later, “evolved” with the diabolical Fallblox. All the games in question share the same basic idea, which is the one that transforms a very simple, spartan and relaxing puzzle game ... into a diabolical, magnetic and nerve-wracking practice.

Pullblox World, as well as the two previous episodes for 3DS mentioned above, is made up of a handful of blocks with rigorously rounded edges, four cans of paint and little else. With these elements, the guys from Intelligent Systems (which, let it be said for the record, are those of Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Paper Mario) have given concrete shape to a decidedly surreal microworld. A microworld, among other things, governed in some way by a creaking merry-go-round, such Mastro Blox, who from time immemorial has been transformed into a distracted keeper with vague philosophical aspirations.

Exactly like in the two episodes arrived on the 3DS eShop, it is Mastro Blox who starts this new adventure based on blocking puzzles. And how? Simple, by calling up an unlikely hero, Mallo, who at a glance could be mistaken for a cross between a big dog and a sumo wrestler. This impression does not collapse even when the guy is subjected to a more careful examination: plump, with shame swaddled in a combat suit and with a very disreputable face, Mallo is in short one of the many heroes by chance that populate the city. Nintendo universe. And just like so many of these improvised heroes, Mallo is not a phenomenon: he is capable of jumping, and so be it, but he is certainly not a great athlete.

Fortunately, however, he has enough strength in his arms to be able to move large blocks of colored plastic without too much effort. The plastic blocks in question are those that make up the monuments assembled in unsuspecting times by the old Mastro Blox. Some boast a vague geometric shape, others are abstract clusters, others still wink at pixel art (thus referring to another glorious series of Nintiando puzzle game, namely that of Picross). All, however, are nothing more than small, big puzzles disguised in art. And they are puzzles that must be solved one at a time by abusing not only (not so much ...) the muscles, but also (and above all) the brain. Or what's left of it. Each monument, in fact, by pulling and pushing the colored blocks that compose it, can be dismantled and rebuilt in a moment, so as to transform it into an improvised stairway to heaven. Or, better, on a ladder that allows Mallo to reach, and therefore to rescue, one of the many children who have been trapped on the top of the monuments themselves. Just like in the first Pullblox, someone will suggest. Just like in the first Pullblox, just like that.

The differences between the original for 3DS and this new episode, after all, can be counted on the fingertips. The most significant is tied with a double knot to the hardware specifications of the two consoles: on Wii U, of course, there is no trace of the three-dimensional effect of the episode for 3DS. And this is a small problem if you consider that Pullblox, as well as its direct sequel, is one of the few games available for Nintendo's portable machine whose basic mechanics are absolutely enriched by the 3D effect. Once flattened, Pullblox on 3DS was not very immediate and legible. On Wii U, needless to say, the various monumental puzzles are therefore a little less decipherable than usual.

The ability to move the frame (with the right analog stick of the Wii U Gamepad, the only usable controller) partially solves the question, but in general it can be said that the absence of 3D makes itself felt, and how. On the other hand, however, Pullblox World boasts a well-structured tutorial (and also chubby, but skipped by experts) and a comfortable editor that goes well with a streamlined integration with the Miiverse service. The puzzles created by the players can in fact be uploaded, downloaded, exported in the form of QR codes (some can even be tackled on 3DS, as they are compatible with the first Pullblox), commented and judged. Furthermore, as is now a good habit, the posts on Miiverse can be embellished with stamps that are unlocked along the way.

Last note regarding the price: Pullblox World was launched at a cost of 9.99 euros, but until 23:59 on 31 July those who have already purchased Pullblox or Fallblox on 3DS will be entitled to a 30% discount. And therefore, and in short, the fans of the series who still want to move bocchetti can get away with just over a handful of euros. On the other hand, those who do not know the series in question can start from the Pullblox for 3DS and only then move on to this new episode for Wii U (the second, decidedly more complicated, is recommended only for the brightest, most lively and lopsided minds).

I downloaded Pullblox World on my Wii U using a code kindly offered to me by Nintendo and, after passing the tutorial without any problem (also because, at the time, I had already thoroughly played the two episodes for 3DS), I concentrated for about five hours on the main mode puzzles, skipping some that I just have no idea how to solve. Then I tried the editor, with embarrassing results, before starting to fish between the levels created by other players, solving them and commenting them with great taste.