MY NINTENDO PICROSS: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA TWILIGHT PRINCESS
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Start Date: April 2, 2016
End Date: April 11, 2016
I am seriously fucking addicted to Picross. For those unfamiliar, Picross is another term for nonograms, logic puzzles where the player uses numerical clues to fill in squares on a grid, eventually forming an image of some sort. You start off with an empty grid…
…and use the numbers to determine which how many squares must be filled in each column or row…
…until you’ve uncovered an image. In this case, a really exciting jar:
It probably looks more complicated than it is, for those who’ve never played, but I find it to be the perfect zoned-out time-killer while commuting or watching TV. Nintendo has a long history of releasing Picross games, and I’ve played them all over and over and over again. In fact, I played them so much that my last 3DS ended up with a Picross grid permanently etched into its screen.
So when a Zelda-themed Picross game was offered as a freebie with the launch of Nintendo’s new rewards system, I grabbed it right away.
My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, aside from having a super catchy title, is pretty much the same as any other Picross games the company has released, with a couple of key differences. The first is that – duh! – it’s all got a Zelda skin on it. Midna from Twilight Princess serves as your annoying tutorial guide, and all the images you uncover (such as that lovely jar) are elements from that game.
The second big difference has to do with player input. I won’t go into the dull minutia of the game’s control scheme, but basically the way you use the d-pad to fill in squares is slightly different from every previous Picross title (including the recent Pokemon Picross, which I was playing at the same time). If this is your maiden voyage with Picross, the new controls are perfectly serviceable – but for a veteran like myself, for whom the old scheme has become 100% muscle memory, it’s a motherfucking nightmare. I could barely go 30 seconds without brainlessly doing things the old way, and screwing up my puzzle as a result. This wasn’t a total deal-breaker or anything, but it was a very strange and frustrating choice on the part of the developers.
The last few Picross games have included a mode called “Mega Picross.” The gimmick with these puzzles is that some of the numerical clues refer to two rows or columns, instead of just one:
This may seem like a minor difference, but boy oh boy have I had trouble wrapping my brain around it. So much so that I’ve generally ignored Mega Picross puzzles in past games. I made it my goal this time to figure them the fuck out, but if I’m being honest, I kinda failed to achieve that goal. I did solve all the Mega Picross puzzles, but it was mostly through trial and error and lucky guesses, rather than truly mastering the mechanics.
Still, a win is a win, and fumbling my way through those puzzles still got me to the end of the game, didn’t it? It did.
This game was fine and all, in the sense that if you’re really into Picross, it’s more Picross. But if you’ve never played a Picross game before, I’d recommend starting with the Pokemon one, which is available for free on the 3DS eShop. I’ll be writing in more detail about that one in the near future, so stay tuned!