“If you’ve played one, you’ve played them all” is something someone could say about almost any puzzle game be it Tetris or Alleyway. I would say that Nonogram or Picross games would be in that same category. Does that mean that people can’t put a new spin on a classic formula? No it does not. While there isn’t much new added to the Picross formula here in Pictopix, does it still warrant a look? Yes, I believe it does. Let me break it down for you.
If you’re not familiar with what a Picross game is, it’s basically coloring with logic and math! (Even with an exclamation mark, it’s hard to make that sound exciting.) You’ll be looking at the numbers along two sides of a grid and you have to decide which squares to fill in and which to leave blank in order to solve the puzzle. Sometimes there’s a picture and sometimes it’s just a fun looking symbol and sometimes the creator is just making a fun pattern for the fun of it. The patterns range in size from 5×5 to 40×40 which I honestly haven’t done before. I’ve not done anything larger than a 25×25 so Pictopix has a bit more options to keep the love for Picross puzzle-love’n going for a while.
Some of the flair that Tomlab Games adds in Pictopix are things that are common in others, but done a little better here. The puzzles, when solved, end up being actual pictures of items done in color. It’s a small thing, but it’s not a Pico8 image, it’s decent pixel art with shading. There is also the ability to use your own creativity (or someone else’s…) and create and share your puzzles. There’s also a plethora of other Picross puzzles to potentially pick and play. (There is crap ton… the more the merrier though eh?) I can’t remember how filling in is done in other games, but Pictopix utilizes the left click for filling in squares and right-click for plopping X’s down and it’s a very smooth experience that really stood out in my mind. I’m not honestly sure how, but it felt great. However, the best thing about Pictopix has to be the music. It’s a nice jazzy set that, admittedly does get repetitive when I’m stuck on a puzzle, but when you’re working through them creates a very calming atmosphere. You can turn it up/down/off so it’s not really an issue, but it’s some of the best music in a Picross game I’ve heard.