It’s hard to believe we’re already on the sixth entry in the Picross S series and with it comes another healthy dose of challenging puzzles to solve all wrapped in a very familiar package. The last couple of Picross S titles have definitely felt like a case of ‘more of the same’ but does Picross S6 bring anything new to the table this time?
Picross sees you shading in squares on a grid using numerical clues assigned for each column and row. So, for example, if you see a number ‘4’ on a row then you know that four of the squares in said row must be filled in (they also need to be adjacent with no gaps breaking them up). As you gradually fill in each grid, you’ll start to reveal a lovely pixelated image of the most random of things such as an ant, power plant or crumbled can. As mundane as the focus of each finished picture is, it feels like a neat little reward for successfully completing a puzzle.
And that’s how vanilla Picross works. As you continue to knock out puzzle after puzzle the size of each grid grows larger and larger making things tougher. Beyond the standard mode of play though Picross S6 packs plenty more options for the player.
Mega Picross adds more confusion to the mix by having information that can apply to multiple rows or columns. Far too taxing for my brain but I’m sure those hungry for a challenge will want to check it out. Colour Picross rather unsurprisingly adds colour and is easily the best mode of the bunch in my opinion adding further challenge without taking things to frustrating territory. Clip Picross is essentially a handful of grids that when solved form a larger picture. And hidden away in the Extra option you’ll find a small number of huge puzzles to solve (with more if you have save data from the first handful of Picross S titles).
So, in terms of quantity of content, Picross S6 delivers. What may disappoint returning players though is that what I’ve listed above is exactly what we’ve seen from the last two or so entries in the Picross S series. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily since the game delivers that same ‘addictive as all hell’ grid-based puzzling we all know and love. Those who’ve exhausted the hundreds upon hundreds of puzzles in the previous games will definitely find exactly what they need here. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see a truly new mode or just anything new to refresh the flaking paint of the series a little – in fact I’m hoping we see the previously announced Picross S: Mega Drive & Mark III Edition see the light of day – but I’m still content filling in squares and smiling at random pixelated art.
So, is there anything new to be found in Picross S6 at all? If you’ve played the more recent entries then you’ll find more of the same here. With the exception of some new music tracks and the addition of different colouring on lines on the bigger puzzles – making navigation and counting easier – it’s pretty much business as usual. It appears it’s best to look at each new entry in the Picross S series like a new issue of those puzzle magazines you see in supermarkets. Predictable but certainly reliably fun as well.
Picross S6 is another reliable entry in the series delivering hundreds of puzzles across a familiar range of modes. Solving Picross continues to be as addicting as it’s always been, however, it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed at another entry that does little to surprise or refresh the series.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Jupiter