It's no secret that Picross is one of our favourite puzzle games here at ONM, so the promise of a new set of puzzles in the form of an eShop title fills us with excitement. That's exactly what the eagerly awaited Picross-e offers, though this is both a good and bad thing.
For those new to Picross, it's a puzzle game that looks like it might be a cousin of Sudoku, but is very different and much more rewarding.
Each column and row has a bunch of numbers at the start of them. These numbers indicate how many squares in that line have to be filled in. Using logic you have to figure out which squares to fill and which to leave blank - if you do this properly and complete the puzzle, the filled-in squares form a picture, which is then coloured in. It's a simple concept but one that's oddly satisfying and extremely addictive.
There are a total of 150 puzzles in Picross-e, roughly half the number you'd find in the cartridge-based ">Picross DS or its sequel, Picross 3D. These puzzles range from simple 5x5 ones for beginners (thankfully, there aren't too many of these) to more difficult 10x10 and 15x15 ones for more advanced players. Disappointingly, that's as big as they get - while the puzzles in Picross DS went as large as 25x20, that isn't the case here.
Hot 'Cross Fun
It's also a shame that Picross-e lacks some of the personality that its DS predecessor offered. Whereas each group of 15 puzzles in Picross DS had a different theme, with a new 'skin' and music for each theme (one had you eating away pieces of apple, while another had you breaking Mario question blocks), here all 150 grids are simple, generic affairs.
It's also a shame that the game doesn't really make the most of what the 3DS has to offer. While the lack of spectacular 3D visuals couldn't really be helped, due to the fact that the gameplay is very much a 2D affair, it would still have been nice to have the ability to create your own puzzles and share them with friends, either online or with QR codes. Alternatively, it would have been nice to have the option to purchase extra DLC puzzle packs.
Despite the above, if you're a newcomer to Picross this is probably the best version to go for since, at only £4.50, you'll be able to try it out without risking too much cash. After all, it's still Picross and it's still excellent. For the more dedicated fans of the series though, Picross DS and both Mario's Picross games on the Wii and 3DS Virtual Console services offer more puzzles and more character and are therefore better options.