Review: Push Me Pull You (PS4)

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Title: Push Me Pull You
Format: PlayStation Network Download (274.5 MB)
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: House House Games
Developer: House House Games
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E
Push Me Pull You is also available on PC, Mac, and Linux.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
As a local competitive multiplayer game, Push Me Pull You is bizarre to say the least. It has the look of a mash-up between Noby Noby Boy, CatDog, and the simple rules of keep away.

Players control a weird two-headed monstrosity of a creature that has both heads connected together by a fleshy stretchy body. The goal for most of the modes involves keeping a ball on your side of the field using only your body. Matches involve stretching and manipulating your body in all sorts of directions in order to score points and win.

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The right side of the controller controls one half of the creature and the left side controls the other half. You can stretch your character using L2 or R2 and can shrink back down to normal size by hitting L1 or R1. It is a simple set of mechanics and it’s fairly easy to learn, making it a very accessible title.

The modes stay true to the mechanics and do not get very complicated. Players face off on a round playing field and must keep a ball on their side of the field until a meter is filled. Other modes are essentially the same, but with minor variations. One sees the addition of two more balls that fill the meter faster if more than one ball is being controlled.

Another mode, called Half-Court, involves the players having to take the ball outside of the field and bring it back to the center to score. The last mode has one of the heads of the creature sleeping meaning one side is carrying dead weight while trying to score. The modes add some different strategies, but do not differ much from the base mode.

… it couldn’t hold anyone’s attention for too long …
With that said the game is still fun and matches did get intense once everyone knew what they were doing. There is some skill to the game once players learn how to manipulate their bodies.

The bodies can act as blockers stretching across the playfield or by trapping the other player by wrapping themselves around the opposition. It all looks insane and has its moments of brilliance as someone finds a new way to block or score a point.

Again this game is bizarre but fun, especially watching people’s reactions to the game’s different look. The easily accessible mechanics can be picked up by mostly anyone, which could allow this to be a go to party game.

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The only issue I came across in my play sessions with friends is that it couldn’t hold anyone’s attention for too long. People went on the same arc of emotions in my experience.

They started freaked out by the crazy character design and some were even slightly creeped out by it. Soon they were able to grasp how to play and began to have fun playing it.

That fun lasted a little bit before I could see boredom set in. Switching to the different variant modes helped extend the play time though the same problem persisted after a few rounds.

While there is some fun to be had with this title it doesn’t have much staying power. It can have a lot of value as a party game that can be brought out from time to time, but I doubt it will be something that people can spend hours with.

… that combination of weird and happy …
Visuals:
While the bizarre look might be off-putting for some at first glance, it can very quickly turn to charming. The art design is hard to knock due to its happy go lucky nature.

Everything is bright and colorful and that combination of weird and happy make it stand out from a crowd. Some will find it creepy, but I am confident that after a couple of minutes the charm will win over even the most jaded individual.

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Audio:
The audio design is on the light side in terms of content. The game does feature upbeat tunes in the menus and post match results. Outside of that the actual matches do not feature much of a soundtrack.

Instead of hearing music during matches the only noticeable sound is the somewhat troubling noise of the human-like creature’s hands slapping and sliding along the floor. So if your party of players are not talking all you will hear are the slaps of hands on the field.

… easy to learn mechanics and rules …
Online/Multiplayer:
This game is local multiplayer only for two to four players. A nice feature included due to the control scheme is the ability to have two players share a controller for co-op play. It’s a good way to help those with a limited amount of controllers play with friends.

The competitive play is flexible and can be taken casually or somewhat serious. I found a couple of the sessions I played becoming somewhat intense which was surprising given the nature of the game.

This game is very capable of being something brought out at a party thanks to its flexibility with the controllers and easy to learn mechanics and rules.

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Conclusion:
Despite the amount of content feeling a bit light, Push Me Pull You is a unique experience that can be very fun with the right people. The weird look can grab someone’s attention and the title’s positive vibes can easily pull them in.

If you need a party game that is simple to learn, even for the most casual of players, then this can fill that role. I did find most of my sessions ending relatively quickly compared to other local multiplayer games I have tried, but with a large group of people that could be a positive, allowing people to rotate in and out more.

The simplicity of the game is a double edged sword as keeping things simple will open the game up to a wider audience but it may have come at the cost of any longevity.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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