To be a Nintendo fan is to be intimately familiar with disappointment. Each one of us has a particular game or series that we cling to like Rose on the Titanic door, desperately hoping that Papa Ninty will eventually notice us and give us the sequel (or at least a remake) we crave. It’s their fault for making such good games in such quantity, really – and for abandoning them in favour of adding another Fire Emblem character to Smash Bros. No, I’m not bitter.
I have a lot of these. Ghost Trick. Fantasy Life. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I could go on for years complaining about all the games that I loved and lost. I envy those of you who clamour for new Metroid, new Bayonetta, and remakes of old Zelda games, because at least those are likely. I have to survive on delicious scraps like finding out that The Great Ace Attorney might finally get localised after almost six years of waiting, and hope that the rumours are true.
But today, for no particular reason (and far too late, since the Nintendo Direct is tomorrow), I’m asking Nintendo for just one thing: a Pullblox sequel.
The Pullblox (or Pushmo, as it’s known in other markets) games were the work of Intelligent Systems, the same folks who made the Paper Mario and the Fire Emblem series. Since the release of The Origami King and Three Houses, the latest in both series, in 2019 and 2020, Intelligent Systems has been presumably working on something new. It’s too soon for a new instalment of either of those games, so is it too much to hope for a new adventure in Mallo’s world of block manipulation?
The last Pullblox game, Crashmo World for Wii U, was cancelled back in 2016, and video game historian and NL chum Liam Robertson’s video blames Intelligent Systems’ other Switch projects needing more resources as the cause. It was apparently on schedule to launch in 2017, with a good deal of the puzzles already finished, but talks of instead bringing it to Switch were fruitless.
But that doesn’t mean the game is dead. Maybe Intelligent Systems were just waiting to be done on their mega-hit games before turning back to the beloved push-pull cult favourite. We won’t get our hopes up too much – but wouldn’t the squishy, spherical Mallo make a great Smash Bros. character? I mean, we already have the squishy, spherical Kirby, so he’d be in good company. Just sayin’.
I hate to constantly say “this kind of game is what we need during a global pandemic”, because it makes me worry that I’ll look back on everything I wrote during COVID the same way I look back on texts I sent while drunk, but at the same time… this kind of game might be what we need during a global pandemic. It’s soft, friendly, challenging but not punishing, and easy to sink a few hours into here and there. I’d love to see some Breath of the Wild 2 news, and I’m keen to get stuck into Bayo 3, but it’s often the little replayable games that make day-to-day life a bit more pleasant.
A new Pullblox won’t change the world, but it doesn’t need to. It just needs to bring Mallo back into my life.