Friday, April 26

Review: Picross S3 [Nintendo Switch eShop]


For a number of years and spanning a few different systems the Picross series has been a Nintendo puzzling staple, offering challenging and polished play. Since debuting on the Switch with S1 it has also been slowly but surely adding new modes to step things up in terms of variety. First we got Mega Picross with its variation on numbering that adds to the core mode’s challenge. Next they added Clip Picross, which is a favorite of mine, where you’ll complete multiple puzzles that will then stitch together to make a larger image. Now, with the release of S3, they’ve added Color Picross to the mix, challenging you to complete puzzles that throw differently-colored pixels to things to step up the challenge.


As always the presentation is polished, and the controls are generally responsive and sound. You’ll quickly get the hang of coloring in pixels, marking them with an X, and even switching between colors (and the new color mode also provides multiple control schemes so you can find the one that suits you). While the physical controls are well-implemented, as with previous versions of Picross on Switch there is still no touchscreen support, which is a bit of a shame, but thankfully the physical controls are intuitive and quick so it’s hardly a crippling loss.


As always there’s an abundance of content to work through, so it’ll be a nice and slow zen-like burn to get through it all, with 300 shared regular and mega puzzles, another 150 for Clip Picross, and a humble 30 puzzles for the new Color Picross mode. Yes, I’d love to have some more in the new flavor but I’m still happy to see their inclusion, especially since in this case the Picross series is playing catch-up with the competition. Which Picross variant you choose will likely come down to taste, with S3 being the least garish and carrying a sense of refinement its competition lacks. Always good for getting yourself into a zen-like calm, Picross S3 continues the series strong representation on Switch and yet again has stepped up its game to keep pace in what’s actually a pretty competitive space.


Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • As always the controls are intuitive and help is flexible in its various levels of assistance
  • Presentation is as polished and refined as ever
  • With 480 puzzles across 4 modes there’s plenty to dig into for puzzle fans

Cons:
  • Still lacking touchscreen controls this is one area where Picross is still behind its competition
  • It would have been nice to have more than a mere 30 Picross Color puzzles