A few months ago, Nintendo released Picross e on the eShop, the first new Picross game in a while and quite an enjoyable - if rather short - package. Thankfully, if you felt a little short-changed you can delve straight back into puzzle-solving with the sequel, Picross e2. Is it anywhere near as good as its predecessor? We're about to find out.
It wasn't broken, so they didn't fix it - Picross e2, just like the first game, still uses the classic formula of using a bunch of numbers to reveal a picture, filling in the tiles you think should be filled in, and crossing out those you think should remain empty. As with previous entries in the lineage, you can choose to play with the buttons or with a stylus, so you don't need to move the cursor all around the board.
As before, there are technically two different modes; Normal which uses "normal" rules, and Free, which does not notify you of any mistakes, thus not giving you time penalties but making you adopt a more careful approach. These are, just like in Picross e, divided into four categories of puzzles.
Easy and Normal are played with Normal rules and contain a total of 75 puzzles, while Free and Extra are played with Free rules and contain another 75. As before, the largest puzzle size is sadly only a measly 15x15 - a far cry from the gigantic puzzles in previous entries. As usual, you can opt to receive one row and column filled in for free at the start of a puzzle, though just like in Picross e, this feature is not available in every fifth puzzle.
However, that's not all this time - There's also a new Micross category, which contains 5 more puzzles. That might not seem like a large amount, but these are, as the name implies, Micross puzzles. You start them off by first solving a small, simple puzzle, but after doing so, all the squares you filled in turn out to be individual puzzles as well, essentially meaning that it's one puzzle consisting of over 20 smaller puzzles. This concept was previously also seen in the Japan-exclusive Picross 2.
All the Micross puzzles are of famous paintings, and depending on the location of each tile the individual puzzles can range from difficult to absurdly straightforward - sometimes it's as easy as filling in a single line, with 95% of the board already crossed out due to all the zeroes around the sides. The Normal and Free modes come with a slightly different version of the music from Picross e and the exact same graphics, but Micross thankfully has its own unique music and design, a welcome change of pace.
Picross e2 is yet another fun Picross game, but for the most part it simply feels like an expansion pack for the previous title. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, especially when the core gameplay is so entertaining.
If you'd like yet another 155 Picross puzzles to sink your teeth into, look no further, because this is another solid offering.