Picross S3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Lilly Kirchner 23.08.2019

Review for Picross S3 on Nintendo Switch

Picross S3 for the Nintendo Switch is yet another game developed by Jupiter. This developer has previously released quite a few picross titles for different Nintendo systems. Founded in 1992, Jupiter prides itself with a variety of games and software. Previous picross games have been released for the Nintendo DS, DSi and 3DS, as well as the Super NES. Released in April 2019 in the US, EU and Japan, Picross S3 is the third entry in a series of picross games for the Nintendo Switch. Every picross, regardless of the system, follows the same rules: a grid with numbers at the end of each row and column indicate how many fields have to be filled in in the corresponding row or column. The player has to logically deduct which fields to fill according to the numbers. When one grid has been successfully solved, the player is rewarded with a picture.

Like its predecessor, Picross S2, Picross S3 offers a variety of different modes such as traditional picross, mega picross and clip picross. Additionally, this new installment offers a new mode called colour picross. The traditional mode offers nothing new. It is simply a number of grids to solve. Every puzzle is available from the start. This is somewhat disappointing, as it would have been nice to have to unlock later puzzles. There is no indication of difficulty level for any puzzle. Ideally, it would have been interesting to slowly increase difficulty levels during the playtime, starting with simple and moving toward more complex puzzles. This is not the case. How easy or difficult a puzzle is seems to be coincidence.

Screenshot for Picross S3 on Nintendo Switch

Mega picross allows for new rules. In this mode, corresponding numbers can belong to one or two columns/cells at a time. This makes for a bit more difficult gameplay, and is a nice nut to crack for players that feel adventurous. The mode clip picross contains several puzzles that are part of a bigger picture. To unlock this part, the player is required to play through the traditional mode. While it is quite enjoyable to have to unlock new parts, it is unclear which of the traditional puzzles unlock a clip puzzle. Additionally, clip puzzles are only parts of the bigger picture. They don't act like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, which would have been more interesting. Instead, they are simply parts cut out of the picture itself. In that sense, it seems like the traditional mode all over again.

The new addition is the colour picross mode. This is an exciting new addition, as it allows the player to solve grids with different colours. Numbers are written in different colours, and the player has to figure out which squares need to be which colour (or can be crossed out entirely). This new mode spices the game up quite a bit, though unfortunately there are not a lot of colour picross grids available.

Screenshot for Picross S3 on Nintendo Switch

Interestingly, this also offers to play with a partner. By handing a partner one of the Joy-Con controllers, players can solve puzzles together. Each is assigned their own colour to track where in the field their cursor is. The game also tracks how many fields each player has filled in. While this seems to be a fun idea, picross games are most likely to be played by single players. By solving a puzzle together, players could get into each others' way, and it seems a bit unnecessary to include this feature at all.

The controls themselves are simple and effective. The d-pad is used to move the cursor around the grid. 'A' is used to fill in a square, 'B' is used to cross out a square, and either can be pressed to delete the filling or crossing out. In colour picross, since several colours are available, and need to be changed accordingly, the 'Y' button allows to click through a number of colours to choose one. Control settings can be changed for players who wish to do so, however using touch is not possible. In any case, the default control system makes for a smooth and fast gameplay.

Screenshot for Picross S3 on Nintendo Switch

The help features are unfortunately disappointing. It is possible to use a feature called hint roulette, which allows for a random row and column to be filled in at the start of the game. This can provide a starting point. However, the feature that allows to check mistakes made is very disappointing. This can only be activated once in a playthrough of a grid. It shows exactly where the mistakes have been made, but unless one has only filled in two or three squares wrongly or has a phenomenal memory, it can be described as useless. The feature does not allow to correct the mistakes while they are being shown. Instead, you will be shown where the mistakes are, and then you'll have to go back to the grid and better remember what he or she just saw. This can be difficult, especially in large grids - and because the option can only be used once, it is also not possible to memorize a couple of wrong squares, correct them and then go back to check the rest. This makes the feature almost unnecessary.

All in all, while Picross S3 is a nice, relaxing distraction, it is in itself rather limited. This is fair, because, in the end, there is not a lot one can do with picross, and considering that, the developer attempted to make it interesting nonetheless. However, its low price seems to be a little over the top for what is being offered.

Screenshot for Picross S3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Picross S3 definitely improved since its predecessor Picross S2. Especially the newly added colour picross mode is a lot of fun to play and makes a real difference in the gameplay experience. This entry offers more variability, making it easier to play longer and harder to get bored. However, it still has a variety of flaws that could be tended to in the future.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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