Monday, January 7, 2019

Review: Pic-a-Pix Pieces [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Pixel puzzle games are very much a niche but for the right audience they’re quite an enjoyable one. Picross being the most well-known, there’s something satisfying about looking at a grid with combinations of numbers to the top and left and using those to divine the placement of pixels that will then form a picture. While the Pic-a-Pix series hasn’t tended to be as sexy as Picross with Pic-a-Pix Pieces the team at Lightwood Games has proven they are keeping pace with a budget-friendly and challenging puzzler.


Central to the experience are two elements. First, rather than being stuck with only filling in black pixels on a white grid you’ll be able to work with multiple colors. The number of colors varying per puzzle as will the sizes of the gris from 10 x 10 up to 20 x 20. Alternative colors actually make things a bit easier in some respects but it also makes the end creations more interesting and attractive.


Second, rather than working on singular self-contained large puzzles you’ll be working with the Pieces mentioned in the name. This means that each puzzle is only one fraction of the entire picture. This makes the puzzles more difficult since you can’t necessarily use the defined image to help you fill in blanks and make assumptions, but then it also obviously makes the final results when the combined puzzles are put together more satisfying.


Really all that can be holding you back from getting this is not being interested in the genre and style. The price is right, 300 puzzles that combine to make a variety of final pictures provide more than a fair amount of content, and the satisfying Picross-style challenge all deliver. Whether you’re playing with a controller in docked mode or with the touchscreen in handheld this should be a joy for puzzle fans.

Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • Multiple colors help make the pixel art more diverse
  • Combining multiple puzzles together to make a final picture adds to the challenge and satisfaction of completion
  • Everything feels great whether in docked or handheld mode, with easy and efficient controls

Cons:
  • This puzzle style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea
  • More polish in presentation would be nice