Game: Picross E

The format/developer/publisher bit: Nintendo 3DS (Digital download), developed by Jupiter, published by Nintendo

The ten-word synopsis: It’s just some new puzzles for those addicted to Picross.

Two glances at the screenshot above and I’ve already solved that puzzle. I couldn’t simply look at it as a picture. Instead, it’s a challenge. It’s Picross challenging me. There’s no two ways about it: I’m an addict. I’m a Picross addict. And I’m proud of it.

This review could well be our shortest ever. If you’re a fan of Picross, this is an absolute must-buy. It adds nothing new to the formula, unlike the excellent Picross 3D, but is simply an expansion pack for those of us who have finished every puzzle in 2007s’ Picross DS. As somebody who cleared everything in both previous Picross games, Picross E provided very little challenge for me. There’s 150 new puzzles, which sounds like a lot to the uninitiated, but lasted me little over 4 hours. While you can’t really complain for about a fiver, I wouldn’t’ve minded a couple more, considering Mario’s Picross is also avalible on the eShop for the same price, with around 200 of the blighters for you to solve.

The basic gameplay of Picross involves placing blocks in the right place with the aim of creating a picture. It’s quite hard to explain, but it’s also brilliantly simple, and incredibly addictive when you get the hang of it. From my personal experience, I’ve found it’s up there with Tetris in terms of games that have haunted the backs of my eyelids as I try to sleep. Simnply put, I don’t understand how some human ebings have got so far in life without obsessively filling in grids thanks to numerical clues. While this works as a jumping-on point, (There are 15 puzzles for beginners and a tutorial at the start of the game) you’d be better off hunting down Picross DS if you’ve never played one. And do make sure you do play one.

Disappointingly, the animations when you solve a puzzle from Picross DS are gone, but that doesn’t cheapen the satisfaction you get out of solving a puzzle. This is a satisfaction worth paying £4.50, and I don’t think much more needs saying. A Picross addiction needs feeding in order to prevent it becoming rabid and causing you to mentally devour any innocent-looking screenshots, and Picross E is a fine way to do just that.

5 additions of 2 marks if you’re as desperate for Picross goodness as me out of 10

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