We have once again been blessed by a new Picross e game, and you know what that means: new puzzles and, erm... some more new puzzles? By now you should honestly know what to expect with these titles, but here's a quick rundown again!
Picross is a classic type of puzzle game that has featured on Nintendo systems since the '80s. The goal in each Picross puzzle is to use a series of numbers lined up above and to the left of a grid in order to determine which tiles in said grid should be filled in, and which should be left blank. Correctly following the clues will result in you slowly creating a pixelated image of something, typically an object or animal.
Picross e7 has once again chosen the safe route, not adding any particularly notable new features. The modes on offer are still the same as before - Picross, Mega Picross and Micross. Picross plays by the standard rules, while Mega Picross puzzles include numbers which correspond to two rows or columns at the same time, requiring some extra thought.
Both of these can also be played with the "Free" rule enabled, which prevents the game from telling you when you've made a mistake - if you make a tiny error it could cost you a lot of time, but on the flipside you won't get any time penalties. Some people were not too happy with the fact that Mega Picross in Picross e6 simply featured the same puzzles from regular Picross except with the combined number feature, and unfortunately nothing has been done to address this as, once again, the Mega Picross puzzles are the same exact ones as in regular Picross. When Mega Picross was first introduced it had its own unique puzzles, so this is rather disheartening.
Micross, like before, only features three puzzles, but each of them is actually one gigantic picture comprised of several smaller puzzles, thus making you jump from one to the next over and over until you've finally solved the whole thing. The main menu also features another gift icon, allowing you to unlock five puzzles for each of the first three Picross e titles you own. It's rather puzzling that they're still not rewarding us for buying the later games.
There is one tiny change Jupiter made to e7, which could come in handy. Previously, you could only fill in tiles or mark them with a cross, indicating you thought that tile did not have to be filled. It's now added a third mark, allowing you to place a pink square on a tile; this is intended for tiles you're not completely sure about, and is a welcome if mostly insignificant feature.
All the extra fluff is here too, of course - a tutorial for first-timers, the option to receive a free hint at the start of puzzles, the ability to change the tile filling animation, and so on. Like its predecessors, it's really just more Picross for fans.
It's a little perplexing how long it took for Picross e7 to be released outside Japan, especially when one considers that it still doesn't really do anything new. It's the same old, same old, really - if you've exhausted the supply of Picross titles on the eShop (Hopefully including Mario's Picross and Mario's Super Picross) and just can't get enough of them, e7 is here to satisfy your appetite. It's a little annoying that Mega Picross once again doesn't have original puzzles, but everything else is still solid as usual, even if it's lacking any creative spark.