Each new entry in the Picross S series has always been a delightful little addition to the gaming calendar offering another healthy dose of puzzles to snatch my attention away from anything I’m currently playing. Picross S5’s timing couldn’t be worse then with new consoles just released and a whole stack of titles big and small left to work my way through. That’s the power of these games and just as was the case with the first four entries, any chance of finishing my backlog is long gone.
Picross is essentially a series of logic-based puzzles requiring you to fill in a grid-based on numerical information given on each row and column. These numbers will indicate how many squares within said row or column are to be filled and in what pattern. Once finished you’re left with a pixelated image of everything from a tent to a cobra. If you’re a fan of puzzles like Sudokus then this will be right up your street. Much like Sudoku, you’re gradually deciphering what needs to go where with the added bonus here of a cute pixel image as a reward at the end.
Past entries in this series have usually introduced something new to the mix, but Picross S5 marks the first time where that isn’t the case. To be honest, I could easily point you toward my review for Picross S4 and that would pretty much cover the experience you’ll have here too. Some may find that disappointing to hear but Picross S5 is no slouch when it comes to content, packing in hundreds more puzzles and every previously introduced mode.
Along with the standard vanilla Picross puzzles, you’ll find variants that introduce different colours, giant grids and puzzles even made from smaller puzzles. Like I said, it’s nothing we haven’t seen already before, but it’s great to see nothing get cut. What I’m disappointed to see return is the repeating of puzzle designs between the standard and Mega Picross selections. While going about solving them requires a different approach, the fact you’re creating the same pixelated images is disappointing.
So, what’s new? Well, the music for one, which to be fair is by far the catchiest the series has seen yet. Also included is a total playtime counter (something patched into the previous versions also). That’s pretty much your lot though.
Picross S5 is definitely a case of ‘more of the same’ which for fans will be music to their ears. What it lacks in ambition it makes up for with hundreds more addictive puzzles ideal for passing those winter hours away.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Jupiter