Written by: J.H. Longman
Announced on November 12th and released earlier this month was another all new Pokémon adventure, Pokémon Picross. Exclusive to handheld, the game can be downloaded straight from the eShop and, but the free download is a game that is free to start, much like Nintendo’s Badge Arcade. You can progress so far for free, but if you don’t take care of those picrites, you will have to make a quick trip to the eShop to buy some more. For those of you who don’t know what Picross is in general, it is a picture crossword and as far as Pokémon Picross goes, there are 312 standard puzzles to solve, which takes place in 31 areas that does include Area 00, aka the PokéLab. Each puzzle is of various Pokémon that were available at the time of release. Pokémon Picross also features Legendary, Mythical and Mega evolved Pokémon from the likes of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
And now, to go with something a little different, I’m going to let the game’s description speak for itself: Pokémon Picross is a puzzle game where you reveal a hidden Pokémon illustration. Once you solve an illustration of a Pokémon, you can catch that Pokémon. Collected Pokémon help you to solve more difficult puzzles. With 300+ standard Pokémon puzzles, a significantly harder advanced mode, and Daily Training, this game will supply hours of enjoyment.
As far as gameplay goes, it is fairly simple. Each puzzle is made up of a grid of squares and in order to complete a puzzle, certain squares need to be coloured in to form the picture answer, but colouring in random squares is no good, obviously. To help you locate where the shaded squares need to be, there are a series of numbers adjacent to each row or column to indicate just how many squares in which particular line wants to be coloured in. However you will not be alone when you do this because when you complete a puzzle, you can catch the Pokémon the puzzle was a picture off and utilize their skill to help solve your next puzzle. Different types of Pokémon have different skills and after using, some skills may take a while to recharge, so make sure to swap out your party in-between puzzles and if you want to make your party bigger, you can always use more picrites to purchase another space.
Thankfully there are other ways to obtain picrites over than just buying them, you can be given a load from Professor Tetra during tutorial and for unlocking the first area. You can complete Daily Training. Completing certain missions on puzzles and you can earn plenty of medals to help get more picrites. Although on most puzzles, not counting the murals and tutorial levels, you do use up energy when making moves so be sure to try to pick as wisely as you can. The last thing you want to do is storm into battle when a rare Pokémon appears and not only are your skills not charged, but you don’t even have enough energy to complete the level. You can of course use your picrites to purchase more energy and even upgraded it so you have plenty more to use, but if you are trying to complete the game as solely a free player, the upgrades will only see your progress shortened.
However not every puzzle can be solved with just the normal pencil as the Mega pencil is required, but it comes at a steep price, 500 picrites, but with it you can earn yourself 381 back and there is an alternative world you can go to, where any area you have unlocked, is unlocked there, but it requires 300 picrites to go there and you can’t win any from the Alt world. And before I let it slip my mind, there are some stages that can only be accessed by using passwords, but should you enter all four passwords, you will no longer be able to enter any more, not even passwords for picrites and Mythical Pokémon such as Mew, or Ash’s Greninja.
And now we’ve reached the point where this simple, yet complicated game is put to the test of my Pros & Cons:
-The puzzles were fun and satisfying, which made it all the more easier to pick up and play.
-It is one of the better Picross games out there with a lot of functions to keep you around.
-The use of the medals is great and it gives achievement gamers something to strive for.
-Every time you complete a puzzle, you get to feel like an artist who has perfected their latest Pokémon portrait.
-Although the game has plenty to offer, it does fail to live up to its true potential.
-It can be played and beaten as a free game, never once having to purchase pictrites, but it means you will be playing for a long time and it is much easier to just spend your cash.
-Although there are skills to use that are most helpful in beating every passing, there is only twelve and after a while, they do get a little stale.
-The game could have been a little more “free-play” and not so much “you-pay.” Picrites should have been made available in the Alt world, or at least a function implemented where some days you can get twice as much.
And as much as I really wanted to enjoy it, I honestly just couldn’t get into it, what can I say, I’m a Rumble man and for those reasons, Pokemon Picross racks up a low score of 6.8/10.0 mural tiles. Some games aren’t for everyone and as much as I do like Pokémon and puzzles, this just isn’t a game for me.
But as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and it is encouraged for you to make your own.