Friday, May 7, 2010

Picross 3D

Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 3, 2010
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E

0:00 I was one of probably three people who bought and enjoyed Mario's Picross on the original Game Boy. I blazed through Picross DS too, and enjoyed a quick tutorial of this 3D reimagining at GDC. Let's just say I'm expecting to spend a lot of time with this one.

0:01 10 seconds of odd "preparing to play" loading before a blocky dog bounces up and down the title screen. Transition to a blocky baseball player swinging at the air. It's amazing how recognizable these figures are despite the low resolution. The careful coloring really helps.

0:02 "Hello and welcome to Picross 3D" says what looks like a duck from Picasso's nightmares. Instead of a lengthy introduction, we go right to the menu screen. Nice.

0:04 The beginner difficulty has a "how to play" tutorial, but I already know how to play thanks to my GDC demo, so I just to the "Easy" section. Of course, you readers might not know how to play, but I don't really care about you...

0:05 OK, I really do care about you, so I'll try to explain what's going on. I've got a 5x5 grid of blocks here with various numbers on some of the faces. The numbers indicate how many blocks have to remain in that row, column or, um... depth line? I don't know the 3D term. So if there's a "zero" I know I can just chip away every block in that line with a tap of the stylus. After that, there's only four blocks remaining in a row marked with a "4," so all those get marked with protective green paint. So it goes until I've created a nice, simple letter U in 56 seconds. I get three stars for my "perfect" performance.


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