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Art Style: PiCOPiCT Review

Easily the best DSiWare game yet

We've been singing the praises of Nintendo's hugely underrated Art Style games for a while now. When the first batch (ORBIENT, CUBELLO and ROTOHEX) appeared on WiiWare last year, we fell with each game's mixture of minimalist, stylish design and simple, addictive gameplay. PiCOPiCT is the sixth Art Style game to arrive in the UK, and the third on DSiWare (AQUITE and CODE being the others), and in our opinion it's by far the best of the bunch so far.

As with most of the other Art Style games, it's difficult to explain PiCOPiCT and make it sound fun without thrusting the DSi under your nose and saying "seeeeeeee" with high-pitched glee. But we'll try.

Click to view larger image
Basically, it's Tetris meets Picross. Various shapes are falling from the sky: no change there. At the bottom of the screen though you have a bunch of small blocks and you can tap them with the stylus to collect up to eight of them. You can then place these blocks around the falling shapes so they eventually make either lines or rectangular shapes. If you manage this, the shape will disappear and the blocks making it up move to the top screen, where they become pixels of an old NES sprite. The level ends when you clear enough shapes to complete the picture at the top.

While all this is happening there's some pretty funky music remixing going on. See, each level's soundtrack is based on the same game that the sprite's from, but much like the sprite the music reveals itself as you continue to make progress. It's a nifty trick and it's really satisfying to hear a level start with the Mario bassline and listen as it evolves into the main theme as the classic Mario sprite fills up.

Once you complete each of the game's levels you can use coins you've earned from building combos to buy harder versions with new sprites. And when we say harder we MEAN harder. The hard version of the very first level had us almost weeping.

For only 500 points this is an essential title for fans of either puzzle games or retro Nintendo. Stick some headphones on and this is one of the best experiences on the DSi.

Comments

17 comments so far...
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  1. Sabrewulf Friday 22nd May 2009 at 16:12

    Well I know where my other 500 points is going after I already got Dr Mario, good times!!

    But having said that is anyone else having trouble downloading the games, I am online and can access the shop but have yet to succesfully download the web browser and Dr Mario, it keeps giving me an error code and to try later. I've been trying for a week, it is very annoying, should I try at 3.33am or something??!!

  2. Cybermaster Friday 22nd May 2009 at 19:19

    Just downloaded it. I'll play it tommorow whilst on the plane to Spain. :D

  3. lattywatty Sunday 24th May 2009 at 16:32

    I'm not a huge puzzle fan, but this is easily the best game available on DSiWare (and WiiWare, bar World of Goo). My favourite levels are definately the Super Mario Bros. ones.

    I thought it was quite short at first, despite taking several goes on the last 7 levels. Then I decided to see what the "Buy" button did at the bottom of each level. Score! I thought I'd breeze through the first few remixed levels then was destroyed by the first one :? Still have it in my hands right now. It's one of those games everyone needs to play!

  4. 13th Nightmare Tuesday 26th May 2009 at 13:36

    I was a bit unsure when I first downloaded this about how the game would work. But the tutorial was very helpful and I was up and running in no time. I got through the first couple of levels pretty quickly, but now I feel like a novice on some of the later levels. But it keeps me coming back for more.

  5. popenicker Wednesday 27th May 2009 at 21:36

    god its so hard. im currently stuck on remix level 14.
    jesus the ganondorf one was so awesomely hard...

  6. samus_killer Friday 29th May 2009 at 21:55

    I love this game, I can't recommend it enough. ONM are right though, it is really hard. The music is awsome, you unlock it using coins you collect during the main game. I was listening to it while I was washing my car. I haven't dowloaded a game since Lost Winds, at 500 points, it's well worth it.

  7. Dr. Peripheral Wednesday 3rd Jun 2009 at 14:16

    I really enjoyed ORBIENT and AQUITE, but PiCOPiCT is by far the best. If you haven't downloaded it yet, go and do it now. Right Now.
    >_>

  8. Dean Thompson Wednesday 3rd Jun 2009 at 15:22

    finally! something to spend my free 1000 points on!

  9. Pachein Friday 12th Jun 2009 at 11:00

    i might to have to just download this game! better get me some points, Cheers ONM

  10. wilrc6 Monday 22nd Jun 2009 at 17:18

    An absolutely fantastic game. Its the best Art Style Series Game and even the best DSiWare Game.
    Its very nostalgic which brings back great memories of my early gaming years.

    If you only buy one DSiWare game, make sure its this one.

  11. Mario maniac Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 14:48

    ganon cracks me up :lol:

  12. Tailsdreggman Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 12:49

    AN awesome game, with a nice difficulty curve
    i liked the last level, with the blocks spelling out:
    'thankyou, but our princess is in another castle'-proper retro. also it looks like toad's giving you the finger :?

  13. catinthefreezer7 Saturday 29th Aug 2009 at 15:46

    I love tetris. I put on my phone just to ass the time when I'm in science.

  14. mantisboy1 Sunday 6th Sep 2009 at 15:20

    Man, I wish I had a DSI :oops:

  15. Ai64 Saturday 13th Feb 2010 at 13:55

    Most addictive DSiware game ever. I love the music that I listen to anytime.

  16. offscott Sunday 25th Jul 2010 at 18:40

    I just got this game today and I'm really glad I did, its fun yet hard yet you don't get that annoying feeling with it. I highly recommend it.

  17. wolfy98 Sunday 27th Feb 2011 at 20:01

    I suc at this game :cry: :oops:

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