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Picross is a really addictive and fun puzzle game for the DS, based heavily on the Japanese puzzle game Hanjie.
Rather than explain all of the rules (which can be found on the net) I will just give a brief summary: You are given a grid within which a picture is contained. You make the picture by painting in the correct grid squares. There are number clues on each row and column which tell you how many squares along the line and in which order. The user will have to cross reference columns and rows to determine which cells must be filled in.
There are easy puzzles to begin with which will allow the player to ease their way into the game and the rules, there is little to worry about if you know nothing of Hanjie, this game is very easy to get in to and quick to pick up. You will have to start establishing your own rules as you progress through to harder boards, with larger grids.
You play against a timer, which gives you a set amount of time to complete, but if you ever fill in an incorrect tile then you will incur a time penalty. If you exceed the time penalty, you can still complete the board, but you will not get a nice flashy graphical representation of your picture, in essence you will have to do it again in order to complete it properly.
The game can be played using the stylus or the control pad and buttons. I much preferred the latter option as I tended to accidentally hit the wrong tile with the stylus, and you can zoom in and out easily using the buttons.
Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone who has a DS, it is really good fun and will give hours of enjoyment.
This may not be one of the bestselling games on the DS, but there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't be! It's essentially the Japanese logic puzzle game, Hanjie, renamed as Picross. With over 300 puzzles, it promises plenty of challenges.
What is it?
Picross, or Hanjie, is essentially a grid with numbers running along the the vertical and horizontal sides of the grid. The number(s) of each line represents how many squares of that line of the grid are to be shaded. So for example, if it was a 15x15 grid, and a horizontal line had the numbers, 5 3 5, you'd know that the first three squares should be shaded, then leave one unshaded, shade the next three, leave one unshaded, and then shade the last five. If there are gaps between numbers (like with my example of 5 3 5) you know there is a gap of at least one square between each of the shaded number of squares. I'm hoping this is a pretty accurate description of how to play, but playing the game itself allows you to grasp the rules easier. The point of all this shading is to reveal a picture in the grid.
You can play this game in two ways: with the stylus, or by just using the buttons. I like this as the calibration on my DS screen is off, despite having tried to reset it multiple times (probably from too much playing), and so if I use the stylus, it often clicks the wrong square, giving me a time penalty, which increases with every mistake you make. I find that the buttons option means that I make less mistakes and is my preferred method of use.
As I mentioned, you are timed with each puzzle, and the more mistakes you make, the more the next penalty increases. If you incur enough penalties to reach 1 hour (or if the puzzle has taken you that long to complete), you can still complete the puzzle, but the picture it reveals will not become animated, or coloured, as it would otherwise become if you stick within the time limit.
There are various levels of increasing difficulty, so that you can start off with the easier puzzles to get used to the game and then work your way up to the harder levels. There is also an 'overlay' option, where you can try out a solution without incurring any penalties if it's wrong, which is handier for the harder puzzles.
Available from Amazon for £13.50, but probably cheaper second hand.
Is it any good?
If you love logical puzzles, then this is definitely one for you. The puzzles are completely addictive, and I wasted many a good hour solving puzzle after puzzle. I also prefer playing it on the DS to doing a paper puzzle, as I find my grid gets very messy on paper, and if I make a mistake it messes up my whole grid on paper. On the DS, I only encounter a time penalty, which means my whole game is not ruined. All in all, an excellent game!
This is my personal review on PicrossDS for the DS.
Price around £15
Nintendo - HAL Labs
March 5th 2010 - it came out
Pegi age rating: 3+
This as may well can tell is a game about puzzles, similar to tetris , but much more advanced. Its a really challenging game, which provides much more experienced gameplay, for loads of hour play time, and both children and adults will enjoy playing. You can upload you scores for friends to beat, or upload them online to show to the world. There are hundreds of different unique puzzles which you can play, all unique and different, and of course, all as fun as the other. The game for me I found it incredibly addictive, ans since it was a puzzle game, I did not mind, and nor did the rest of the family. It really helped me a lot with these simple puzzles in the life puzzles. Its really enjoying as well as relaxing. The presentation is a bit underwhelming, which I think could be improved in future picrossds games.
The animations and graphics are pretty good, but could do with a bit more. The sound is OK, nothing major, but Im sure the game is whats the most important part. There are some 2D puzzles, as well as some 3D puzzles, however I do enjoy the 3D ones a bit more.
The game helps with your maths incredibly, it will super help you children for there school practise, either for normal class work or tests and exams. Im sure there results will get so much higher if they used and played the game.
With the Wi-Fi mode, you can connect with players accross the world, play them in the puzzles, either race who does the puzzle first, or simply do the puzzles together, which is so much more fun.
Picross 3D throws in a few twists that take a couple of minutes to wrap your head around, but the first chunk of the game includes an in-depth tutorial that makes the transition from 2D to 3D easy to understand. In each puzzle, you're given a block made up of smaller gray cubes arranged in a solid 3D grid. The goal is to reveal the hidden object inside the mass by removing all of the extraneous blocks until only the cubes belonging to the secret object remain. Because every cube is the same color, the only way to determine which ones to keep and which ones to destroy is to analyze the numbers found on certain blocks, then follow a logical process of elimination to remove the unwanted extras
It takes some time for you to get used to the puzzles, over some time you will get to understand them more easily, and in this case, gives you more enjoyable gameplay . The rewards when you finish a level are super charming, and can be added to your reward inventory, and is so good to show off your rewards online, or even for yourself to browse and look at them.
There is a AI mode, so if a small child is playing, you can set the AI to find a suitable puzzle, however if a adult is playing, you can set it at a harder mode. Both ways , all age groups have so much fun.
Im really glad I purchased this game, and would totally reccomend to anybody, especially the kids at school. Top Notch game.
Picross DS was a game I had been trying to get my hands on for ages and when I finally managed to get a copy - it was well worth the wait!
I've been buying the Hanjie puzzles books from WH Smiths for a while and when I read that I could get a game containing the puzzles on the DS I was intrigued. Could this work on the DS? Would it still be as enjoyable? And would it be easy to play or would it just be fiddly?
The good news is that it is in fact a great adaptation to the handheld DS console. The controls to mark the solid and blanks squares were really easy to use and I didn't even need to refer to instructions as it was explained simply and clearly in the tutorial. I completed the tutorial with no problems, the tutorial didn't take too long to do and when I completed the tutorial I felt that I would have no problems tackling the levels.
So as mentioned there is a tutorial but I'll explain now in a bit more detail what is in the rest of the game. The main aspect of the game which I spent the most time playing was the Picross section. This contains the options: How to Play, Easy Mode, Normal Mode and Free Mode. How to play contains the tutorial which I've already mentioned as well as information about useful functions for game play, some information regarding playing in Free Mode and information about how to use the zoom function which is useful option to use when playing some of the larger puzzles. The larger puzzles like the 20x20 ones get a bit small and the zoom function is great.
The Easy Mode consists of 15 pretty simple puzzles. They're more like starters to get you going and it is a good way for people who have no experience of these puzzles to build some confidence. It also tells you if you make a mistake so you don't get to the end and find out that it's all wrong! The Normal mode also lets you know if you make a mistake, normal mode consists of 10 levels containing 15 puzzles on each level. Each level gets progressively harder and so by the end it was quite challenging to finish some of the puzzles. If you make a mistake though you do get a time penalty. Your best time is saved and obviously you want to get the best time you can.
The Free mode again consists of 10 levels with 15 puzzles on each level with each level getting harder. This mode doesn't let you know if you make a mistake though! So, you can mess things up (as I did many a time!) and realised that along the way something has gone horribly wrong and then you have to start again. The free mode was my favourite mode though because I felt it was much more challenging and more true to the puzzle books I had bought before because when I do those I never have the option of knowing if I've made a mistake at some point. There is an additional option in Free Mode called 'Try It Out'. In a puzzle, if you are unsure about what to do, by selecting try it out, you can go from that point in the way you think is right but if then it goes wrong, then you can exit try it out mode and go back to the point you were at before you entered it. Or, if you are right then you can exit try it out mode and keep everything that you've done in try it out mode.
In the puzzles for Easy and Free modes you can also switch hints on. It asks you this when you begin each puzzle but I chose not to put the hints on while playing as I like a challenge.
Another section of the game separate from the main Picross part I've just gone through is the Daily Picross, and also the My Picross.
The Daily Picross is almost like the Brain Training games but uses aspects of the Picross game. You can record a score once each day for an aspect of Daily Picross. You start of with one part unlocked, once you have played that a few times another part is unlocked etc. There are 5 bits to unlock in total. They were quite good fun and in the end I quite enjoyed doing my 'exercises' each time before I went to the main puzzles section.
The My Picross section is a part of the game where you get to make up your own puzzles and share them with other people too if you want to. I haven't used this section a lot though, I just enjoyed the other parts of the game more and so concentrated on those. You can also download puzzles here too but I haven't set up wi-fi on my ds so I haven't had the opportunity to do that.
There is also a settings option on the first main page which you come to upon beginning the game and in there you can alter button controls and sounds options amongst other things. There is also an option to add a rumble feature if you have rumble pack - however I don't have a rumble pack so I can't say much more about that. However, I'm not sure how many people would really be too concerned about that feature anyway.
So, as you can see there is a lot to do in this game and I have LOVED doing it. It's absolutely hours and hours of entertainment and when you start off in Normal mode and Free Mode you don't get access to all 10 levels at once, you get four levels in each and as you do more of the puzzles, more puzzles then become available to you. So it became a real thing for me to be able to get all the levels available to myself!
Ok, so here's quite a useful piece of information for anyone who buys a copy second hand like I did. When you buy the game, the previous owners best times are on the puzzles and there appears to be no option to erase them and start the game from scratch yourself. You can erase all the previous data though. When you start the game you need to hold down the back 'L' button and select button and an option will then come on screen asking if you want to erase the data. That's what I did and I could then start everything from the beginning for myself.
So, finally - do I recommend this game? 100% Yes!! It's a brilliant game, I've played it for hours and no matter how many puzzles I've done, I always want to do just one more! So, if you like Hanjie puzzles and see a copy of this game somewhere then go for it - you won't regret it!
I play this game a lot and you should too!!
So first of all it's a puzzle game, if you want to shoot something you may not be interested but I'd fully encourage you to give it a chance. This is because Picross is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere and with the right marketing it seriously could have been the next Tetris. Ok a bit of an exaggeration but for me, this is as fun as Tetris, that's fair.
Essentially the aim is to reveal a hidden picture by playing the puzzle. You have a grid of varying size depending on the level you play. You need to fill in the squares on the grid and at the end you have a pattern that resembles something e.g a lion or a phone. This is a game of logic as you have to follow the markings at the start of each line of the grid. I am aware that I'm making this sound difficult but I assure you once you're past the very quick tutorial, you'll be a master.
All ages above 12 can play this game and most importantly all ages above 12 will enjoy this game. If you're a puzzle fan and don't own this then something is wrong and I am your saviour for informing you of how good this game is. If you're not a puzzle fan then seriously try this out, I'm not big into puzzles either but this is a whole new world of puzzly goodness.
Younger players may struggle on the harder levels but there is always trial and error and they'll eventually get there, its fun enough to keep them amused. If they get bored they can always make their own puzzles and swap them with their friends.
This brings me onto multiplayer, it's so fun! You basically try to complete puzzles faster than your opponent which can be great fun (when you're winning) and frustrating (when you're not winning).
Buy it and support future development.
(Also posted of Ciao)
I got this game after recently completing picross 3D -and was worried that it wouldn't be as challenging but boy was I wrong! It's basically a DS version of the game Hanjie you find in puzzle books. Through a process of elimination you mark the correct boxes used to make the image and put X's in the ones that need to be left blank. A wonderful way of using your brain and remaining entertained at the same time.
It has a huge amount of puzzles separated into different categories - Easy Mode, Normal Mode and Free Mode. With the first two you are told when you make a mistake and extra time is added to compensate for this (otherwise you would be able to guess your way row by row through the puzzle. Free Mode however can be more challenging as it's not only harder puzzles but also doesn't tell you if make a mistake, this is where Overlay comes into play. Basically you can complete the bits you know for definite then put the overlay on and through trial and error work out the rest of the puzzle - it's very handy!
There are additional puzzles that can be downloaded however the range of them is a lot more limited apparently for the UK version (I have the US version), so if buying online might be worth trying to get this. (Sadly just downloaded some Mario packs since my boyfriend still loves it even though he's well into his 20s now).
There is also a multiplayer mode which is very amusing and can be abused! Up to 5 players can join with their own copy of the game or an additional person can join in off one game - however we only have 2 DS's in our house so not been able to experience this. The multi player games include Word Picross, Picture Picross and Multiplayer Match. Word Picross you choose a word and the person guessing does simple puzzles to get the letters and once they have enough they can guess the word to win early - however the person while this is happening can scribble all over their screen making it impossible to solve the puzzle! Found this highly amusing as would keep all the numbers covered so it was impossible for my partner to complete it. Picture Picross is similar but you draw a picture and it's shown as the back ground of a puzzle roughly the same shape as your masterpiece. And multiplayer match you both try and solve the same puzzles quicker than your opposition. These games are enough to keep you and your love ones amused for half an hour or so together but doubt much longer than that considering how basic and easy the actual puzzles are.
As it's quite an old game I haven't seen it in any game shops and the internet would be your best bet for getting this. Available for as little as £11 on Amazon and £18 on Play, this could be a cheap way of gaining hours of entertainment for you and your family.
I was very excited to get hold of this DS title as I had become quickly addicted to the picross/nonogram/griddlers concept.
Having a neat, smudge free method of getting my fix was seemed very attractive to me.
The game accomodates those starting from scratch with some simple puzzles which also allow you a chance to become accustomed to the input method but I found even jumping straight in to the higher level games there was still nothing anywhere near as challenging as most of the paper alternatives out there.
It is a good, well made game but serves more as an introduction to the genre rather than a defacto electronic version. The potential is there to build on this title with some more challenging puzzles but at the time of writing this is yet to happen. There are some Japanese titles out there but I am worried I'll get lost in the menus so haven't checked them out yet.
The title has been followed up with 'Picross 3D' which makes good use of the DS techonology to add a dimension that isn't possible on paper and that I think fans of the Picross style will appreciate.