#774 Picross DS

Posted: 10th December 2014 by Jeroen in Games
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386th played so far

11337Genre: Puzzle
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Jupiter
Publisher: Nintendo

If you don’t know what picross is – in short, it’s a game with a grid and, for each of the columns and rows numbers to indicate how many squares should be filled in (with gaps in between), obviously.

Picross DS is that on the Nintendo DS.

Our Thoughts

Picross DS pretty does what it says on the tin. There’s a few enhancements – when you finish the level, the image you just ‘drew’ gets coloured and animates for a bit and there’s obviously time tracking and scoring. It also checks for any errors and lets you know when you get a row or column wrong (but not individual squares, only when the full group doesn’t work).

The main advantage, though comes down to controls. The DS touch screen feels natural for controlling the game and checking/unchecking boxes as you go through and try to figure out the picture works really well. If anything, it feels like the puzzles work better, as being able to check and uncheck these boxes easily makes them easier to solve – better than having to use an eraser and getting overly cautious to avoid its use.

There’s a tutorial to explain how the game works. To me, knowing the puzzles, it seemed a bit unnecessary, and the slow speed with which it progresses felt unnecessary – although I can see how this wouldn’t be true for people who don’t know the system. A skip button would have been useful though.

In the end, the systems are simple, but the puzzles get fiendishly complex. The real win of the game is, then, how it was improved by being digital, making it ever so slightly more fun to play for me. There isn’t much more to say than that.

Final Thoughts

Picross DS isn’t the most complicated game, but it’s absolutely capable and makes the puzzle format a lot easier to handle than using pencils, erasers and all sorts of arcane symbols to distinguish different states. Denoting “empty because I’m not sure” and “empty because it has to be” without messing up the pictures is enough.

These days the game would undoubtedly be downloadable, at an appropriate price, but for now this serves as a good way of playing these puzzles. The sequel to this on the 3DS should be really interesting.