Developer: Lightwood Games
Publisher: Lightwood Games
Release date: 4 February 2018
Price: $7.99 / £6.99
Reviewed by Mike BC
It’s no surprise that the Nintendo Switch has courted many games that would work well on mobile. The problem is that many games that work well with your phone or tablet don’t necessarily translate well to the Nintendo Switch. I am happy to report that Pic-a-Pix Deluxe does not have such issues. In fact, it's is the best picross game I have ever played.
One of the biggest problems that I’ve had with picross games in the past, is that many rely on a free to start model but make the puzzles nearly impossible without using power-ups. These power-ups start off free, but after using a set number of them, they come at a premium.
Without them, the puzzles border on the impossible. Pic-a-Pix Deluxe, in strong contrast, may have an upfront price, but is a full game where the puzzles, while hard, are completely possible to solve.
Bang for your buck
The game retails at a moderately priced $7.99/£6.99 and has 150 puzzles. Beyond that you can purchase different DLC packs for a few extra dollars/pounds. The different DLC packs are catered to different players, so you can extend your game based on what kind of puzzles interest you. For instance, the DLC packs, Classic 01 and Classic 02 are black and white puzzle packs that each retail for $2.99/£2.99 and come with 60 puzzles. I personally am not good enough of a player to play black and white puzzles. Therefore, my personal puzzle list will not include that.
Difficulty is something you have to expect when playing a picross game. Fortunately, Pic-a-Pix Deluxe handles difficulty very well. It does provide a tough challenge, like any picross game, which only increases with the bigger puzzles. However, if you like picross, you can adjust the difficulty in a few ways.
The easiest way to play is to have hints turned on. The numbers will de-highlight when your selections fit. That’s not to say it will always be accurate, but it allows you to see if you are on the right track. Plus, you can always turn off the hints for a stiffer challenge. If you're really good, you may even try your hand at black and white mode, where you only get numbers without the benefit of seeing what colour they are.
If you are looking for a picross game and haven’t tried Pic-a-Pix Deluxe, it will absolutely keep you entertained. The puzzles will occupy your time for weeks and months to come. You may get frustrated at the difficulty along the way, but it's all worth it when you see that puzzle grid clear and reveal the picture you’ve been working to complete.
Pros & Cons
+ Plenty of puzzles, great value
+ Varied challenge for all skill levels
- Repetitive music