Piczle Lines DX
Developer: Score Studios
Publisher: Rainy Frog
Release Date: 26 July 2018
Price: $14.99 / £13.99
Reviewed by Josh Brant
Piczle Lines DX started as a connect-the-dots mobile title and thanks to publisher Rainy Frog Games, the deluxe version has made its way to the Nintendo Switch. It is, without a doubt, one of the better puzzle games on Nintendo's hybrid system.
This may look like a kids game, but don’t let the childish aesthetic fool you. The difficulty alone will easily keep puzzle fans entertained for a long time.
Puzzling Good Time
The main objective of Piczle Lines DX is to draw lines between numbers on a grid to reveal an image. The puzzles at first seem like a combination of Picross and Sudoku, (minus the maths), but it's more of a combination of the former game and connect-the-dots.
You will need to keep an eye on the number and colour of the circles, as that reveals how many spaces you need to move to connect them, in order to create the picture. As the grids and numbers get bigger, you will need to work on smaller areas to make sense of the patterns and reveal the entire image.
There is actually a story present in Piczle Lines DX, revolving around the characters Score, Gig and Professor Matrix. The Professor is pleased to show off his latest invention, the Piczle-Matic 3000, which can turn everything into pixels. Unfortunately Score gets her hands on it and, suffice to say, she destroys the lab by turning everything into picture puzzles. As a result, players need to complete the puzzles in order to return the objects back to the lab in their original form. The story is basically an afterthought, and while it’s not mind blowing, it does do a good enough job of explaining why you are taking part in this adventure.
The game can be controlled using the touch screen in handheld mode, and the Joy-Con when playing on the TV. I found the control schemes worked very well, with the touch controls in particular great to use on-the-go. For one gameplay session, I had immense fun sitting around the TV with my friends, solving the puzzles by taking turns or putting our heads together to work as a team.
Control At Your Fingertips
A vast majority of puzzle games have an option to correct any mistakes or point out problems, but this is not the case in Piczle Lines DX. I didn’t mind this though, as it encourages you to think logically and experiment with different connections, while adding to the challenge.
Every time I cleared a puzzle I felt a real sense of accomplishment, and the cheers you hear upon completion really spur you on to have one more go at a new puzzle.
As for the presentation, the game's rocking a nice minimalist art style with colours that really pop. The menus are simple, and the characters that pop up during the story mode's comic book cut-scenes are animated well.
There’s also an option to allow players the ability to set special colour patterns for those that suffer from colourblindness or other visual impairments, which is a nice, thoughtful touch. You can also save puzzles in progress and return to them later if you become stuck, which happens quite often (or at least it did for me).
Replayability is off the charts, which is where the DX part of the game's title comes in. It features a full Story mode campaign of 100 levels, trophy achievements can be unlocked, and another puzzle mode with over 200 levels of various themes. While Piczle Lines DX doesn’t have a demo on the eShop to try out, you can download a free-to-play version on iOS and Android to give it a try. Although the mobile version does have in-app purchases, the Switch version has all the content of the mobile version in one package.
Piczle Lines DX: 500 More Puzzles is a fantastic puzzle title with plenty of content and an addictive concept. If you’re interested in puzzle games at all, the game is easy to recommend, and loads of fun for anyone. It’s smart, charming, and provides plenty of bells-and-whistles while optimising the gameplay to make it something special.
Pros & Cons
+ Ridiculous amount of puzzles and content
+ Charming art style
+ Many different clever ways to play
+ Puzzle concept is a smart one
- Music is lacklustre
- Story is an afterthought