Picross e8 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 09.06.2018

Review for Picross e8 on Nintendo 3DS

It may be based on an age-old grid puzzle, and its videogame debut may go back almost twenty-five years, but it's safe to say that the Picross series has never been as healthy as it is on its current home of the 3DS. Picross e8 now marks the eleventh first-party Picross game available on the eShop (following a slightly empty-feeling detour onto the Nintendo Switch), and the nonogram diehards that have kept the franchise afloat thus far will already have their minds made up about this entry. For the uninitiated, though, what sets this apart from its predecessors?

For those who have somehow managed to avoid Picross mania up to this point, a brief explanation: it's based on the nonogram brand of logic puzzles, in which the player is given an empty grid with rows of numbers dotted around the outside; these numbers provide hints as to how many and which blocks in a particular row or column can be shaded in. Eventually, after following all the clues, the shaded blocks form a picture.

It's a fairly simplistic concept that can be taken to certain extremes, and the Picross e series is an excellent demonstration of this - each entry starts with particularly easy 5x5 grids that can be solved in a matter of seconds, before progressing into 20x15 behemoths by the end of its multitude of levels. That's not to mention the other modes on offer: Mega Picross introduces number hints that encompass multiple columns or rows to enhance the difficulty, while Micross complicates matters by hiding a bigger picture across multiple smaller Picross grids, removing the more striking visual clues.

Screenshot for Picross e8 on Nintendo 3DS

Across the three modes, there's a ridiculous amount of content on offer in Picross e8, with around 500 puzzles there to really eat away at players' spare time. It's certainly an admirable amount of playtime to fit into one download, but that's also its own downfall, as the game can easily become incredibly repetitive, with very few visual or audio options to break down the monotony of hearing the same handful of tracks five hundred times.

Nowhere will this ring more true than with those who have already had their fill of Picross e through Picross e7. Excluding other (somewhat more intriguing) spin-offs on the same system, this is now the eighth instalment of a series that is rapidly becoming a victim of its own overexposure, with no valuable additions to the core mechanics since Picross e4. All of this means that e8 feels a lot more like a level pack than it does a standalone game, and those expecting a real evolution from this sequel would be best to look elsewhere at games like Picross 3D: Round 2 and the Switch's Pic-a-Pix Deluxe.

Ultimately, Picross e8 is a completely adequate addition to the existing Picross library, and its depth of content is certainly not to be sniffed at, but its production feels just as sterile and soulless as its stiff, metallic aesthetic would have you expect. Existing puzzle fans will enjoy this, but those who have yet to be converted certainly won't have their minds changed by this rinse-and-repeat sequel.

Screenshot for Picross e8 on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There's nothing inherently wrong with Picross e8 itself, but it belongs to a series that is fast beginning to outstay its welcome; unless developer Jupiter can find a way to really shake up the staling formula, it's perhaps only fair to call time on the 3DS leg of the series at this point.

Developer

Jupiter Corp

Publisher

Jupiter

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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