Picross Touch

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Picross Touch on Steam

MSRP: Free (Steam), $0.99 (mobile)

Platforms: Windows, browser-based, iOS, Android

Release: 8/24/16


I’m not entirely sure I understand the marketing behind Picross Touch – it’s completely free on Steam, with no ingame purchasing or advertisements. To get the full game on iOS or Android, it’s going run you a dollar, but I feel like this is pretty much the ultimate try before you buy. Or just try.  Whichever you prefer.

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The tutorial will automatically start when you first open the game, but you have the option to back out of it if you’re a Picross pro.  There are three sized grids, representing three different difficulty levels, totalling 366 puzzles. Fair warning – Steam reviews indicate there’s at least one puzzle with multiple possible solutions (something that shouldn’t happen in a Picross puzzle), but that the game will only accept one of those solutions.  I haven’t personally come up against this in the puzzles that I’ve played so far, but assuming it’s true, that’s a pretty big oops, even in a free game.

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The idea behind Picross is pretty simple – there’s a grid, with all the rows and columns having numbers assigned to them. The numbers indicate which squares you should be filled in.  In the 10 X 10 grid above, there are quite a few rows with 1 6 1 indicated.   What that means is that a total of 8 squares (1 + 6 + 1) will be filled in, with one or more spaces between the groupings.  Since there’s only 10 squares total, and 2 spaces, these rows are pretty easy to figure out: fill in the left most square, skip one, fill in 6 adjacent squares, skip one, and then fill in the right most square. Obviously, not all rows and columns will be quite so simple, but when puzzles are put together correctly, you should never need to guess.

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To me, this seems to be a good, risk-free introduction to Picross puzzlers. It’s very basic – completely monochromatic, but you can select the color scheme from the options menu as well as change it whenever you like. Despite clearly being designed for touch screens, it works just fine with the mouse. Considering the game is absolutely free, the number of puzzles included is pretty generous.

 

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