DS Review: Picross 3D

Picross 3D boxart

After the charade of digging my brains trying to remember games I was playing about a year back, I return to normality. At the moment I’m playing a super addictive puzzle game on the DS going by the name, Picross 3D. A sequel of some sort to the original Picross DS which I couldn’t get to grips with and gave up on, it’s successor had a different effect on me.

The game has a very in-depth tutorial to familiarise myself with the new concept of a 3D cube in which you chip away at smaller cubes to reveal an object. It’s spilt into different levels which makes it more useful from a referential point of view and not to mention the excellent examples that follow each demonstration. I’m sure you can just ignore the text and work things out from the simple and easy-to-follow diagrams and build on what you know of Picross 3D already.

After the tutorials are done, I jumped into the first level of Easy Mode which was surprisingly easy and moved onto Level 2 within the hour. This was definitely much easier than the original but it was called Easy Mode for a reason. The latter puzzles proved to be more challenging and the 5-strike rule evoked by the game and not to mention the time limit soon become more threatening. Things are made more difficult by the fact that you might accidentally break blocks thanks to the precision required when you’re twisting and turning the large cube around but this is negated if you learn to align the cube straight on before you hold that ‘X’ button and smash away. Of course, with a strict time limit imposed it’s harder to do but it’s just something you’ll have to bear with until you can move the cube around with more accuracy.

The game developer, HAL Laboratory Inc. have created over 350 puzzles to solve and I’m about two-thirds of the way there. I’m just about to get to the Hard Mode in a couple of levels but in the many hours I have spent on this game I haven’t seen any Nintendo-referenced objects except for maybe one at the beginning which kind of disappoints me because apparently the original Picross had them towards the end of the game. Somehow I doubt there will be any and I have to say that the puzzles feel repetitive.

To counteract that feeling, there’s the My Puzzles mode where you can create your own puzzles (my first and only creation was the triforce from Zelda) and share them with others online (friendcodes only!) and also compete online with the weekly contest. These are quite good as you can download a pack every week and see the awesome work of others around the world. Only downer is that there is no competitive versus mode like it’s predecessor (I think there was anyway).

Picross 3D has provided me with a lot of addictive fun and I am expecting to finish the game sometime before April. The game exhausts your mental state pretty quickly especially you’re like me and you play your DS before you drift off to sleep. Come to think of it, it’s not exactly the ideal game to play late at night but it’s a great game and one worth having in any DS owner’s collection. I think I may go back to Picross DS and give it another chance in the future but for the moment being, it’s back to Normal Mode – Level 9 – D on Picross 3D.

Overall verdict: excellent

A quick update: I finally finished all 369 puzzles completed with 3-stars! Phew.

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