Tuesday, 28 March 2017
I discovered Picross a few weeks ago in my local bar on a weekend. That seems like a weird place to discover a video game but it's a video game bar where there are systems on the counter and games for days, it's a great place I'll do a post on it one day soon. Anyway, I'm just sat having a drink but the dude next to me is playing Picross and usually I'm not drawn to puzzle games but for some reason I couldn't stop watching him play it. Eventually I ask him to explain to me what's going on and after the evening was done I got curious and gave it a try myself the next day. Well I was fucking hooked since it's incredibly easy to understand and yet still manages to be quite challenging.
The idea is simple, you get rows and columns of numbers and those numbers tell you how many filled in squares there are on that line. If there are multiple numbers in the column it means that there is a space between the filled in areas and using nothing but these numbers you must uncover a picture on the grid. The game on Gameboy and SNES has you trying to figure out these puzzles within 30 minutes and hitting an incorrect space causes you to lose time. As you go on the grids get bigger and bigger which of course means the puzzles get harder and harder.
It's just an incredibly relaxing game to play and the challenge never really feels stressful. Despite the timer going in the background as long as you take your time to work it out it's never really an issue but in the instances where mistakes are made and you really do end up battling the clock you get quite an intense experience.
There are a pretty large number of Picross games. There's the original game boy game and the sequel to that on the Super Nintendo. There's also Picross 3D on the DS and a sequel to that on the 3DS which I'm told are very good and the extra dimension adds a good amount of extra challenge. There's also a number of free Picross games on mobile too so if you wanted to give it a try then these might be a good place to start too. There's even a fucking Final Fantasy Picross RPG for mobile called Pictologica where you solve small Picross puzzles in order to make your party of heroes attack stuff.
There's probably a bunch of other games I don't know about too but that should be enough to get you started. Give it a try, it's fun, addictive and can be played in very small and quick bursts which means that even if your schedule is fucked you can squeeze in a quick puzzle here and there.