I was pleasantly surprised to see this game announced and released on the same day! I enjoy this series, so I'm downloading it right now.
I'm totally okay with how they chose to price Stretchmo. It's basically a $10 dollar game that can be less expensive for someone that only wants to buy one or two of the level packs.
Edit: My first impressions with the game are good. It starts off with a few quick tutorial levels and then a little robot asks you if you want to buy the game's main attraction for $4.99. You also get the option to buy the $10 bundle from there, but I'm not sure if you can buy any of the $2.99 attractions before the $4.99 attraction.
Anyway, it starts off with an amusing cutscene that ends in Mallow once again volunteering to rescue kids trapped in Stretchmo puzzles. These new types of puzzles already have me thinking from a different puzzle-solving perspective compared to Pushmo or Crashmo puzzles, which is great. The other attractions vary in difficulty from the start, and each one has a unique playable character and cute robot guide! I'm enjoying it.
I'd recommend starting with Pushmo World. Out of all the sequels to Pushmo, it's the most similar and will introduce you to the core mechanics of the series. Similar to Crashmo, Stretchmo spins off of that starting formula with it's own unique gimmicks, so it feels like it's designed to challenge people who are already familiar with Pushmo or Pushmo World.
I'm liking it more than Crashmo. Crashmo always felt a little hard to really enjoy because you could so easily screw up forever. It's also possible to screw up and not know it.
Here, it's more like Pushmo and works very similarly until you realize you can stretch out parts to the sides or parts to the back and front and suddenly it's all new and great. I went ahead and nabbed the whole package from the start. Ten bucks is a fair price for this where the 14 it is separately would not be.
I've dabbled in the basics, the murals, and the one with the enemies in it. Each set feels distinct and unique. I like this a lot and I think it was well done to separate it as it has. The total package has a lot of levels with 50-100 levels per pack. I am excited to dabble into the NES murals eventually but I was going to at least beat the first set of each of the other four packs before starting that one. (I'm not far from it...)
Colin's Fortress of Fun is interesting. I think having moving "enemies" is a first for the series. Manipulating the pieces to get them where you want them is a fun mechanic. I kind of hate that they knock you off though, just seems to waste time for no reason.
I played the demo (which is actually just a tutorial, so this isn't really free to play), and it got me in a Pushmo-y mood, so I started up one of the two Pushmo games that I haven't touched, Pushmo World (the other being Crashmo). Pretty fun. I played through about twenty-nine levels, got stuck at the baby level, became pissed off, and quit. Potentially forever.
(And, yes, I know that you can skip levels. But AAAARRRRGH.)
This series really breaks my brain. But nearly every time I eventually find the solution, it's like, "Oh, DUH." Maybe I just need more experience.
@DrFinkelstein Well the point would be that you have these moving platforms that you can manipulate into place. I'm not sure that I want actual enemies in these games. But they're there now so... I have to deal with it. It's still a neat idea though and it adds to the overall package.
I purchased the whole season "pass" and am enjoying my time with Stretchmo so far...I've only tackled the first twenty Mallow levels, but they're enjoyable (if not a bit easy coming from the later stages of Pushmo World).
I've figured every one out except for 1 single puzzle in Papa Blox's NES Expo. Nobody seems to be able to help either! That's frustrating.
The difficult curve definitely goes with each one. So Mallo up through Papa Blox goes easier to hard. However, I found that they were way more reasonable than the harder levels in the classic Pushmo and especially Crashmo.
Learning to navigate behind stages during your climb is a major help. I really enjoyed the challenge found here. My one puzzle I'm stuck on is almost a fluke since it's the 40th puzzle of Papa Blox, not even the last one. The 4 and 5 star stages feel good when I complete them and seem totally fair.