VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Picross 3D (Nintendo DS)
The basic idea of Picross is that you have a grid of boxes that you color in to create a picture. It sounds easy, but it can become deceptively diabolical. I loved Picross DS, and waited filled with anxiety and frustration for close to two years for its sequel, Picross 3D, to come to America after being released only in Europe and Japan initially.
Because of the 2D nature of the original Picross DS, you could pencil in complex solutions dozens of moves ahead on the grid to see how things were going to shape up. It was more of an art form than a puzzle.
That’s all gone in this new 3D Picross, as everything is now just a matter of perspective and looking for the right angle to see the binary-like “Yes/No” solution. The gimmicky peeling-back layers third-dimension added for this game has removed all of the simplistic-yet-artful strategy of the original. This is a huge loss, and in a puzzle game of this nature, the resulting repetitiveness is a death knell.
In addition, whereas in the original game you could get an idea of what the picture you were creating was and use that as a hint while working, it’s next to impossible to determine what you’re making in Picross 3D. And I mean impossible. Sometimes even after completing the puzzle, I had no idea what the picture was until they colored it in and animating it. Note to Nintendo: A pair of athletes made of monochrome cubes standing near each other doing curls is not a good clue.
Did I spend 100+ hours playing it…? Yeah, so it was obviously good “enough”. Is it better than the shovelware that 90% of the DS library consists of? Hells yeah. But was it fun…? No. No, it really wasn’t. It felt like tedium playing it, slogging through puzzle after puzzle and the same tired tricks each time. I played through the main game to completion out of obligation because I paid for it, but I have neither the motivation nor the interest to play through to unlock any of the remaining secrets or bonuses.