Piczle Lines DX (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nikola Suprak 02.02.2018

Review for Piczle Lines DX on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch is quickly coming up on its one year anniversary, and in that short time it has built quite the impressive library. There are old standbys like Mario and Link putting forth some of their best titles to date, and a nice smattering of new IP and indie titles to keep things fresh. Then there's Piczle Lines DX, a little puzzle game that has been ported over from its original mobile platform. Strangely, this title was missing from the last couple Nintendo Directs, most likely on account of absolutely no one being interested in it. This certainly isn't the kind of title to set the world on fire, and with so many greats available, this seems like one destined to get lost in the depths of the eShop.

Piczle Lines DX is a simple concept. It is a new take on the classic nonogram puzzle -logic sort of puzzles with numbers along the side of a grid that form a picture as certain squares are darkened out. The puzzles here have that same grid and inside of the grid are blank boxes and boxes that contain a number of a certain colour. These numbers must be connected to matching numbers in grid in the same number of spaces the number indicates, and the player is allowed to go through any of the currently blank squares possible to make this happen. Therefore, for example, if a number five is shown on the grid, you can go straight through three blank squares and connect it to another number five square to make a line of five total segments. The lines can be straight or as complex as possible, and by the end the entire grid needs to be coloured in, which will form some unique little picture depending on the specific puzzle. The challenge comes from figuring out what lines go where, and it is necessary to use some logic and the process of elimination to figure out how to connect every single box together.

Screenshot for Piczle Lines DX on Nintendo Switch

The game is divided between a story mode and a free play mode where you can tackle puzzles at your leisure. There is a very significant difference between the two modes, because in story mode once twenty levels are cleared a quick little comic plays while in free play it… doesn't. That's it. There are around twenty lines of dialogue in the entire story so really all there is to do here is play the puzzles, of which there is a ton. There are an absurd number of puzzles here, somewhere over three hundred in total between the two modes that should keep even the most rabid of puzzle enthusiasts busy for quite some time. They vary in size from some simple 16 by 16 grids that can be cleared in just a couple of minutes, to enormous 128 by 128 monstrosities that will likely take a couple of hours to get all the way through. The sheer size of some of the puzzles means there is quite a lot to do here, so people that are fans of the basic concept are going to get a lot of bang for their buck. Unfortunately, people that are really into the gameplay here are likely to be in the minority, because honestly this is one of the least engaging puzzle titles available on the eShop at the moment.

Screenshot for Piczle Lines DX on Nintendo Switch

While puzzle games can certainly be intense and provide a significant challenge, this is not one of those. Piczle Lines DX is a lazy puzzler; not lazily designed or lazily executed, though. This is the sort of game someone plays when they want to feel lazy; a laid back in the comfiest chair in the house and try not to fall asleep sort of experience. It is a lot like an actual jigsaw puzzle in a way; a sort of relaxing and not particularly engaging experience where solving it depends less on actual mental acuity and more on whether or not someone can stand to sit down and actually do it for that long. The puzzles can get bigger, sure, but the fundamental concept here never changes or evolves from the very first puzzle. This isn't a bad thing by itself, but the basic formula is kind of boring and after wading through the first dozen puzzles or so a nagging sense of boredom is going to seep in.

It is not an exaggeration at all to say the game doesn't really progress along the way. Connect one line, connect ten thousand and this simply isn't the kind of game people are going to play for more than ten minutes or so at a time. There is some logic here, sure, and at first it is kind of fun to power through a couple of puzzles.

Screenshot for Piczle Lines DX on Nintendo Switch

Figuring out ones that absolutely have to connect, and then going around and slowly picking off ones that follow from that is a fun enough mechanic, but it is the only mechanic. There are only so many ways to do this, though, and after a while there really isn't a reason to want to do this again. This is especially true of the bigger puzzles, which are a test of endurance more than intelligence. Finishing a big 64 by 64 puzzle, only to have another completely empty 64 by 64 waiting as a reward, doesn't really provide any sort of motivation to keep going. The basic mechanic here simply isn't interesting enough, and this is the kind of game someone plays for twenty minutes or so, puts down, and maybe comes back to it when they're bored a couple of days later.

This isn't to say it is necessarily bad, though, and there has to be a niche of puzzle gamers that like this sort of title. There is a lot of content here, the presentation is bright and cutesy, and for someone that is into this it might just scratch the sort of itch they have. It isn't poorly made, either, and there are bound to be some who are into this more plodding, contemplative style. It is a perfectly fine time killer, so if that is all someone is looking for then they could certainly do worse. At the same time, though, it is hard to keep on playing this after a while, which tends to be a bad sign for something that is supposed to be "fun." It is competent, perfectly bland, and kind of boring.

Screenshot for Piczle Lines DX on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Piczle Lines DX isn't a bad game. In fact, it does what it wants to do almost perfectly. There are a ton of puzzles here to solve, from the small bite-sized ones that can be solved in minutes to big, sprawling challenges that can take hours. Unfortunately, it is simply that the underlying concept here simply is not that interesting. This is a boring kind of puzzler, and feels a bit like putting together an actual puzzle over and over… and over again. There is probably a niche for this, a certain kind of puzzle enthusiast that likes these slower, more plodding experiences. A vast majority of gamers, however, are going to lose interest fast because it only really has one trick that it does repeatedly. Piczle Lines DX is a perfectly adequate experience.

Developer

Rainy Frog

Publisher

Rainy Frog

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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