Tuesday, October 9

Review: Kemono Friends Picross [Nintendo Switch eShop]

If you’ve ever played a Picross game you’re well aware that it’s probably one of the most satisfying puzzle styles out there, blending your powers of deduction with some nice pixel art. For this iteration the base formula remains the same, with the same Standard and Mega modes featured in Picross S as well as the satisfying Clip mode introduced in Picross S2. As you work through the standard puzzles this mode will allow you to composite a larger image from several pieces. It’s not a major change but I like the surprise of slowly unlocking a larger puzzle and image.

The major difference is the theming, this time working with anime characters from Kemono Friends. To some degree this is just giving a more consistent direction to the object of the majority of puzzles but since these are based on pixel art of faces typically it also can make working out solutions a bit more challenging than usual. With puzzles focused on simple objects you can usually throw in a guess in places once a pattern starts emerging. With these puzzles that can happen but facial features can also be a bit unpredictable, making you work a little harder at least.

If you’re a big Picross fan you’ll no doubt enjoy more of the trademark puzzle gaming it offers, but if you’re not someone who usually buys these titles you’ll need to make your decision based on whether you love anime or are looking for something a bit more generic. While the art you unlock won’t be different I’ll note you can opt for a more chibi character style for the various menus and trappings around puzzles. As a whole everything about the series remains as relevant as ever, you’ll just need to decide whether the art in this version is something you’re interested in.

Score: 7.5

  • Same solid gameplay as ever
  • If you’re a fan of anime characters and art this may be a perfect fit
  • I remain a big fan of the Clip Picross mode but not as big a fan in Mega Picross

  • Aside from the theming there’s nothing different in terms of gameplay in this iteration
  • Not everyone may enjoy the anime characters and art