Picross S8 Review

Picross S8 Review Image

I’ve played so much Picross over the years – hundreds if not thousands of puzzles to be exact – I feel as though I’m starting to see puzzles in my everyday life from the duvet pattern on our bed, tiles of the bathroom shower and even our ice cube trays. As much as I want to take a pen and start scribbling away on all my gridded things though, it always feels developer Jupiter Corporation is reliably on hand with another entry in its Picross S series to help tend to that craving. And as luck would have it, they’re back with Picross S8.

Picross S8 Review Screenshot 1

What is Picross exactly? While I could elaborate for what will now be the eighth time by this point, reading any of my last seven reviews will give you a pretty clear understanding of its main hook, the formula remaining exactly the same since the very first game. You’re still very much using numerical clues on a grid in order to fill the correct squares that upon completion will create a rather lovely pixelated image. That’s not to say a lack of change is a bad thing though, the truth is far from it in fact. As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke then why try to fix it?

Like crosswords or word searches, there’s little you really want doing to spice up Picross. Even eight games in (nine when counting the excellent PICROSS S MEGA DRIVE & Master System Edition), there’s still nothing more satisfying than filling in that final square of a puzzle, eager to learn the pixelated image you’ve just helped create. Is it a sunset? A seagull perhaps? It’s the sort of experience easy to lose an hour or two in docked mode or fill some time on your commute, puzzles taking anywhere between a handful of seconds and later on tens of minutes. Hit your stop on the train a little early? No worry, simply save your progress and return later. Like the puzzle books you find in your local bookstores and newsagents, the Picross S games deliver a healthy dose of puzzling fun time and time again.

Picross S8 Review Screenshot 2

So is there anything new to be found in Picross S8? While of course, all the puzzles are brand new, modes are identical to the last entry in the series. Along with well over 100 standard puzzles you’ll also find the harder Mega Picross variant, Color Picross, Clip Picross and a handful of huge grids, some unlockable with play data from Picross S4, S5 and S6. It’s a reliable set and to Jupiter’s credit, the developer has never removed anything with each entry.

There is one new addition though and it comes in the form of a four player option (something being added to all previous entries in the series too via an update). Where working together with two players in past games provided a fun co-operative slant on Picross, trying to orchestrate some form of order with four can prove rather chaotic, particularly on smaller grids. Watching four coloured cursors darting about, squares filling in at a faster pace than you’re likely used to when playing alone can be dizzying at times and does take some adjusting. Initially it can be dizzying and did leave me questioning whether more players was the right fit for Picross, but with more practice and communication it wound up becoming a fun (albeit still manic) distraction.

Picross S8 Review Screenshot 3

The Picross S games aren’t exactly known for reinventing the wheel but Picross S8 is arguably the most straightforward entry so far. Having the option to play with a team of four is certainly an interesting addition but, other than that, you’re looking at yet another safe but reliably fun episode of Picross.

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Jupiter

Total Score
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