Every time I get a Picross game to review one thing pops into my head… how on earth do you explain this game in words? I have tried previously and you are welcome to look at my Picross e4 review here. To keep things short I will give a brief explanation once more.
Picross is a puzzle solving game. It’s a bit of a mix between Minesweeper and Sudoku. You are presented with a block of anything from 5×5 to 15×20. The blocks are empty but on the outside of it you’ll see numbers. These numbers indicate how many blocks in the grid need to be filled.
So for example you have a 5×5 grid. On the outside of the 1st row is the number 5. That means all the blocks in that first row must be filled. The second row has a 3, that means you fill in 3. By using all the different numbers you will work out which of the blocks must be filled and which of them must be left open.
If you try fill a block that shouldn’t be then you get a time penalty and a cross in that block. The idea is to solve the puzzle, fill the correct blocks in the allotted time. Doing so will reveal an image that the filled blocks make up. If you finish the puzzle under 1 hour then the picture is in colour, if you take over an hour it is in black and white.
The main picross mode remains unchanged from the first Picross games. Some of the puzzles are really challenging when you get to the bigger grids and with the time penalties you find yourself going over the 1 hour mark relatively often. The puzzles at the start are easy enough and you will find yourself going through it pretty quickly. Thankfully there are about 50 new puzzles in this mode to keep you busy.
Micross and Mega Picross modes return from Picross E4. They follow the exact same principle but in Micross you have one large picture to discover, but the large picture is made up of smaller grids which each make up a section. The difference in this mode is that there are no time penalties so it’s a lot harder because you aren’t told if you put something in the wrong place. You have to work it out and try until you get the correct combination.
Mega Picross has you completing supersized grids, so instead of a number (example 5) over one row or one column, you will have a large number which covers two rows or columns without indicating how many blocks in each must be filled. It makes things a lot more difficult to figure out but it’s an enjoyable challenge once you get it going.
The only addition to the new game is that you get a bunch of bonus puzzles if you purchased previous versions of the games. There is nothing different in these puzzles, it’s just more of the same.
Picross e5 does nothing different from the previous versions. You are presented with some challenging puzzles which are solved in a similar way to before and you are rewarded with more random images once solved. It never feels like anything more than that.
Picross is a game that is served well in short bursts but it doesn’t present anything new in the series whatsoever. If you have never played a Picross game and you enjoy this type of puzzle you will be spending money well in getting Picross E5. If you have played the Picross games before you know exactly what is on offer here and if you want more of the same it is completely dependent on how much you love your puzzles.