Picross 3D

Break The Puzzle Code and Reveal the Picture Within

What It Is

Puzzle playing people are probably pretty familiar with the game Picross, an international hit for the DS from 2007. The Picross puzzle parade (sorry, I’ll stop with the alliterations) is back with Picross 3D, a collection of brain-teasing multi-dimensional puzzles. A Picross puzzle is a block of cubes with either numbers, circled numbers or nothing at all on them. The puzzle block conceals a hidden object that the player must reveal by figuring out which cubes to keep and which to break away using the numbers as a guide. For example, if a row of five blocks is marked with a 4, one of those blocks has to be eliminated. The puzzle is figuring out which one to get rid of, which you deduce based on the numbers or lack of numbers on the other blocks.

The 3D element of Picross 3D isn’t a gimmicky, jump-out-of-the-screen effect. It means that the cube-based puzzles can be rotated and flipped so that all sides—front, back, top, bottom, left and right—are part of the puzzle. The puzzles look similar to Sudoku puzzles but they are not perfect squares. They could have any number of vertical columns with horizontal rows that can be turned to reveal that each row has another one behind it.

Why It’s Fun

Picross 3D contains more than 350 unique and challenging puzzles that range from easy-breezy to brain-stumping hard. Each puzzle has a clock on the DS’ top screen that tracks how long it takes to finish with points awarded for quickness. You don’t have to freak out about finishing in an unrealistic time because the clock gives you 60 minutes, however, after 25 minutes you are in the red so don’t expect too many points. The average Level 1 puzzle takes around 5 minutes to solve but they get increasingly difficult as you advance from level to level.

Once all the appropriate blocks have been chipped away and the puzzle has been solved, the hidden object is revealed. The incredibly random assortment of objects can be anything from the letter “T” to a giraffe. After revealing the object, it changes from a cube-based graphic to a picture and does a little dance in front of a brightly colored background.

Who’s Going To Love It

Puzzle fans, casual gamers and brain game enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy Picross 3D. Some of the puzzles might be too difficult for kids under the age of 8, however, kids around this age and younger will really enjoy the playful pictures and animations that occur when the puzzles are solved.

The game also allows players to create and build their own puzzles, which can be submitted to the Picross WiFi site for other players to download. This feature alone might appeal to budding game creators and developers.

What To Be Aware Of

The game is addictive and you will frequently find yourself saying “just one more.” The huge number of puzzles make this a game that players can return to repeatedly so you really get a good bang for your buck, especially considering that the price is $19.99.

In addition to the 350 puzzles on the game cartridge, Picross 3D also has themed puzzle packs available for download through the DSi WiFi Shop.

Fun Scale

4 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Picross 3D
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated: Everyone

System: DS/DSi
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1

SRP: $19.99
Available: Now, at most major retail, toy, gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: May 3, 2010
Date of Review: May 2010

*Rating determined by the ESRB


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