Picross S (Switch eShop)
After a whopping seven installments on the 3DS, Picross has reached Switch. The price increased by 60% while offering less content than the last couple of 3DS entries, but that can hardly be viewed as a negative because a price increase was overdue and what you get for your money is still plenty enough.
What didn't make the cut for the first Switch game is Micross, a variation where dozens of 10x10 puzzles form a picture in an 8x8 grid. The 3DS games used to have three Micross, each amounting to 40-60 minutes of playtime. What the Switch version has over its predecessors is a multiplayer option where two players can solve a puzzle co-operatively. The game keeps track of how many tiles each player has filled in, so there is somewhat of a competitive angle to it, but it's not a real vs. mode. What is the same is that all 150 puzzles are available in Mega Picross, a variation that requires a different brand of logic to solve.
My main complaint about the 3DS installments still holds true which is why I don't hand out a 9. Picross DS had puzzles as big as 25x20, but neither the 3DS or Switch matched that despite higher resolution screens. 20x15 is once again as big as it gets. Still, you'll probably get a good 20 hours out of an $8/€8 purchase, so this will have to do until the inevitable Picross S2. If you aren't familiar with Picross, the game provides an elaborate explanation to get you started.
|Controls||10||Everything works as it should. Option to adjust how
the cursor behaves when reaching the edge of a puzzle.
|Gameplay||Picross is a logic puzzle. Various rules and hints
can be adjusted to the player's preferences.
|Single-player||The Mega Picross variation is on board again, but
Micross didn't make the cut.
|Multiplayer||Two people can work simultaneously on the solution
of any given puzzle. Co-operative, pseudo-competitive.
|Graphics||Definitely not demanding, but a clean look deserves
kudos nonetheless. Not every puzzle game is flawless.
|Sound||Three more or less relaxing music tracks to
select from. Can be turned off altogether.
|Value||150 puzzles in standard Picross. The same puzzles
are available in Mega Picross.
|Replay Value||Puzzles aren't particularly replayable, but Picross holds
up as a quick brain teaser any time you need one.
|Score||8||Switch's resolution should have made puzzles bigger than
20x15 a no-brainer, but S is still a very solid Picross entry.