Picross e7 is pretty much exactly what you would expect, which is not very different from its predecessors and its main draw is new picross puzzles that you haven’t played before. The concept of Picross is relatively simple, and the game hasn’t changed very much through the different versions that have been released by Jupiter.
As the latest game in the series, e7 is probably not where a lot of new players will be jumping in. However, you are still required to do a short tutorial at the beginning of the game, which can seem awkward for returning players as there is a “How to Play” option at the menu screen which seems to be all that would be necessary for new players. The game modes are unchanged from Picross e6, which consist of “Normal” and “Free” mode. In normal mode, you will get a time penalty for every wrong tile, but they will automatically correct themselves. In “Free” mode, the game is more relaxed. You don’t get corrected, but there’s no time penalty for the mistakes you make. Your clear time is only really for a personal sense of achievement.
The three game types, “Picross”, “Micross” and “Mega Picross” return exactly the same as it has been in previous games. Picross is the standard game mode, while Micross requires players to complete very large puzzles, where every tile is a Picross puzzle in itself that reveals a larger image at the end. Mega Picross includes an additional problem where special numbers cover two lines or columns, making this game mode much harder than the standard Picross mode.
Perhaps it’s easier to say what’s different to the previous games than to list all that is the same. In Picross e7, the player is rewarded with “medals” for clearing puzzles without requesting any “hints”. This incentivises the player to complete the puzzles without hints, while there were no penalties for doing so before. As it has been with previous versions, every fifth puzzle requires you to play without hints, yet as you don’t have to do the puzzles in number order, the player can just ignore them altogether.
The only real noticeable “new” feature is that you can now mark tiles as “possible” instead of just crossing them out and filling it in. This is similar to “possible” tiles that are often used in Sudoku games, but as they are never really explained in a tutorial, the player is free to use this feature as they please.
The game has slightly revamped the way it looks, with the tiles looking different. For example, some of the simple black tiles in Picross e6 have been replaced by new blue tiles. The aesthetics of the game are really down to personal preference, though it may seem like the game changed the look of it to make the game feel more like a sequel rather than an expansion pack.
This game facilitates both new and old Picross players, and if you enjoy these kind of puzzles, you’ll enjoy it for sure. If you like puzzles in general and have never tried a Picross game, I would heavily recommend it. It is simultaneously simple yet challenging, and is a really fun activity for you to pass the time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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