Picross S Namco Legendary Edition Review

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Let’s be honest, Nintendo Switch owners have had it pretty damn good when it comes to Picross. Between the nine entries in the Picross S series, the nine entries in the Picross e series brought over, a SEGA-themed edition and a number of further additions, you’re probably looking at a puzzle count in the several thousands. Surely, we don’t need more? At the same time though I spend a good amount of my weekends hiding in the bathroom from the wife and kids keen to get just ten minutes of peace so more Picross puzzles to fill those brief moments of respite is all good by me.

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While Jupiter’s Picross games over the years have slowly introduced additional modes and features, it feels like there’s little more that can really be done with the puzzler. The use of SEGA’s IPs in Picross S Genesis & Master System Edition, while it didn’t offer anything particularly new to the formula, felt fresh thanks to the fact you were building pixellated images of retro sprites from the publisher’s back catalogue. It was charmingly nostalgic not to be piecing together a random kettle but the likes of Metal Sonic and the car from Alex Kidd. Picross S Namco Legendary Edition is essentially more of that but with Namco’s older brands in the spotlight this time and I for one hope Jupiter continue to partner up with other companies in the future.

As far as Picross goes, this is exactly what you’d expect, players gradually shading in boxes on a grid using numerical clues given for every row and column. Often each puzzle is a methodical case of filling the right rows and columns in order to provide enough information to fill in more on others. It may be the same its always been all these years, but its addictive and satisfying nature is just as strong here.

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While the standard Picross will give you the base experience other modes return including Mega Picross, Color Picross, and Clip Picross each with an added tweak on the formula.

The usual mix of features the series has introduced over the years are all present and accounted for from adjustable levels of assistance to touch screen controls to multiplayer for up to four people. The latter is a surprisingly neat way to play everyone working together on a puzzle (or in our case competing to see who can fill in more boxes).

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Of course, the big selling point here is the Namco theming each and every puzzle based on 30 titles from the company’s history. These include the perhaps more well known names like Pac-Man and Dig Dug along with plenty perhaps less so including Warpman, the Quest of Ki and Mystery Tower. While my Namco knowledge isn’t as strong as my SEGA, that didn’t hurt my enjoyment uncovering the hundreds of pixel-based images here. This Namco theming even bleeds into the game’s music, retro tunes playing throughout. While perhaps less chilled than the music of Picross S, it at least gives it its own unique flavour of audio.

Picross S Namco Legendary Edition is more Picross with a Namco skin and that’s totally fine with me. Still fun. Still challenging. Still rewarding. Long may Jupiter’s output of Picross continue and here’s hoping we see a Nintendo or Capcom-themed edition next.

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Jupiter Corporation

8/10
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