(3DS eShop)

Picross e3 (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Picross e3 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stephen Kelly

Fun and repetition Picross paths

There’s a question you must ask yourself before proceeding: do you want to play Picross? There’s been ample time to give the pastime a try, what with all the previous games put out by Jupiter, and the next step in this journey is remarkably similar to the last one. Picross e3 is a finely crafted puzzle game worth sinking time into, but it becomes harder to recommend if you’ve already seen this song and dance one too many times. And if you’re yet to discover whether Picross is right for you? Maybe it’s time to find out.

A grid stares back at you though the bottom screen of your 3DS, lined with numbers on its top and left sides. It’s kind of like a spreadsheet, actually, but don’t run away just yet; unlike filing taxes, this activity is known to reduce stress. There’s a picture hiding in each of these grids, and the numbers are your clues to discovering which squares ought to be filled in and which must be left quietly alone. Balancing the digits until the pixelated visage of, for example, a rice cooker appears is just as satisfying as ever; in fact, taking a look at the main menu might cause you to wonder if you've booted up your copy of Picross e2 by mistake.

A tutorial is waiting and ready to welcome beginners with open arms, and despite some overly confusing charts and rules, this goes a long way to keeping players up to date on Picross etiquette. Easy and Normal modes offer feedback when you fill in a space, either affirming your intuition with an approving silence or docking your timer when a mistake is made. Free and Extra modes, on the other hand, leave you alone to wander through a puzzle until every row and column is satisfied; it’s a more thoughtful way to play, but seriously open-ended. Replacing the extensive Micross mode from the previous game, meanwhile, Mega Picross is the only newcomer — but it’s a heavy-hitter.

No longer content with the narrow and linear puzzle-solving of yesteryear, Mega Picross introduces digits that span two entire rows/columns, requiring a totally different part of the brain to fully comprehend. By forcing you to cram a whole bunch of squares into a compact space without stepping on anyone else’s toes, Mega Picross presents a right-angled game of Twister that expert players will no doubt relish.

Regardless of skill level, mastering the time limit on each and every puzzle will take half an age; there are almost one hundred of them all told, and they range from easy to the opposite of easy. As your brain begins its slow voyage to victory, your senses will have a nice time of it as well, thanks to a calming presence that hovers around like a sunny day. Mild-mannered music coalesces with soft, gradient colours to cause immediate chilling out, and the 3D effects are most welcome. Chipping away at a puzzle bit by bit, perhaps with coffee in hand on an eventless morning, can be pleasantly compelling and compellingly pleasant.


The question still remains: do you want to play Picross? You won’t find a lot here to incite a new, fiery passion for lining up squares, that’s for sure. However, if a batch of fresh puzzles and a challenging new mode are reason enough to pull you in one more time (or if you’d like to find out what this seemingly incomprehensible kerfuffle is all about in the first place), Picross e3 is just the ticket. It’s familiar, relaxing, and weirdly gripping. Put simply, it’s Picross — and that’s tough to complain about.

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User Comments (26)



Linkstrikesback said:

How did we go from having picross e and e2 so much quicker in europe than NA, to having e3 come out significantly before in NA.

Can you tell I'm jealous?



C-Olimar said:

Completed e and e2, but I still want more! Please come to Europe!

On a sidenote, why pink? Why not yellow? Or purple? Seems to potentially limit the game's audience.



Morpheel said:

Already have two picross games in my 3ds, so i have no need for this. and ewww pink.



LunaticPandora said:

Do you have a EU release date? And if not, can you at least fix the (obviously wrong) date you have?



Eisenbolan said:

Picross DS had a time limit of an hour but if you went over it didn't matter you just didn't get an animated picture. Is it the same with this game or does the puzzle force a restart when you pass the time limit?



sillygostly said:

@Eisenbolan : I haven't needed more than an hour to complete any of the puzzles, but I assume that the image won't be coloured in the puzzle selection screen after completion.



sillygostly said:

Cumulatively, all of these samey Picross games are becoming expensive(r).

sighs But I'm a sucker for them and I've completed the first two. I do wish that they would make a sequel to Mario's Picross for the 3DS though.



sinalefa said:

I haven't gotten any of the previous ones, but I loved Mario's Picross.

Quick question: besides using the stylus, can you move the cursor with the d-pad/circle pad while in the lower screen?



eza said:

Is the music in this one different to the same tune they used in both of the last two games?

And are the time limits a bit more challenging this time?
Once I've completed all the puzzles I like to go back and redo any that took me longer than ten minutes. Finally did the Koala in Picross E in 09:52 after a few tries.

This new Mega mode sounds interesting, though I would have liked to see more Micross puzzles as well - they were fun in E2 but over too soon.



the_shpydar said:

Yep, 15x15 is the biggest they go (again).

Mega Picross mode can be rough, especially after playing a bunch of standard puzzles — you really need to adjust the way your brain tackles the puzzle. Cool though.



therube said:

now we just need Club Nintendo Picross and we've got 'em all. I dig picross just a wee bit more when the pictures are all Nintendo iconography.



hamsterfactor said:

If the pink color really bothers anyone enough to not get the game, maybe they ought to grow the hell up. Unbelievable.

I got e2 some time ago and really enjoyed it, maybe I should pick up the rest.



Late said:

Already have Mario's Picross, Picross e and e2, no need for e3. I'm a big fan of Picross but enough is enough. I think Picross e series are worse than previous Jupiter picross games.

I'm pretty sure Mario's Picross had more puzzles than Picross e and there was also Time Trial mode. I've spent over 50 hours playing Mario's Picross because Time Trial gives me a random puzzle to solve. I don't want to know what the image is going to be before I start a puzzle so I'd like to have a random option in Picross e games.

I hate how they try to make it look like Picross e has more content than it really has by having an "extra" category. Those "extras" could just as well be part of Easy/Normal/Free Mode since they don't offer anything new. It's just called extra to make you think you have more puzzles than you really do.



jarreboum said:

I want to boycott it so much but I need my dose, I know I'll buy and complete it anyway. I feel like I would belong in this Steam "boycott black ops 2" group.



deKay said:

Need to break open the piggy bank and see if I can get this on Thursday. Loved e and e2.



Sinister said:

Tbh i hate the new mega picross. This will pretty much be the first picross game i will not finish. Only 6 mega picross to go but they suck so much that i do not want to continue any more.

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