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My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess (3DS) artwork

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess (3DS) review


"2 8 7 : 3 6 2 5 - 8 8"


There is a My Nintendo exclusive 3DS game that can be purchased with 1000 platinum coins – this is the free currency you can obtain by simply logging into the site over a long enough period of time, but to actually collect 1000 coins before they start expiring, you’ll probably need to look through the other ways of earning coins, such as linking your social media and whatnot. There isn’t much that these coins can be used for – some of the coupons accept them, and other than the game I am twenty-three words away from introducing you to, you can get some custom themes for your 3DS.

The one complete game you can claim is My Nintendo Picross - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I might as well end this review right here, because the title describes this game perfectly. As I’ve mentioned one hundred and forty words ago, it is indeed a My Nintendo exclusive. It is a Picross game with a Twilight Princess theme.

Websters doesn’t define Picross as anything, so we’ll go with Wikipedia. That’s a trusted source these days, right? Picross (also known as a nonogram) is a logic puzzle in which you are presented with a grid. You will see numbers next to each row and column. These numbers indicate how long each row of filled in cells needs to be but does not tell you the positioning or the size of the gaps between them.

This is an incredibly easy game to learn even if you’ve never heard of it before. Midna, from Twilight Princess, will walk you through a few tutorial stages. She’ll teach you how to use logic to determine which cells must be filled in, and which cells cannot be filled in. Using your stylus to tap each cell, and the control stick to choose between filling the cell or marking it with an x, you work your way through each row and column until you’ve uncovered all the correct cells, and reveal the Zelda themed picture behind it.

One criticism of Picross in general is that there is nothing stopping you from just tapping cells, as the game will give you immediate feedback if you’re correct or not. And sometimes if you can’t see the next logical step, a leap of faith might be in order. But if you get it wrong, it will buzz at you, and you’ll have time added to your total. Yes, you will be timed. You’ll need to uncover each picture in under an hour to be able to see it in colour, but I doubt this will be a problem to anyone unless they’re making a lot of bad guesses.

The pictures are okay – they’re just nice pixel art of Zelda themed objects and characters. Once upon a time, you could share them to the Miiverse, but that service has been shut down. But I became hooked on this game for the number-based logic puzzles. There are 45 main Picross puzzles, and the grids get larger and larger, with the complexity and difficulty increasing. My deductive reasoning prevailed, and it lifted the fog from my mind. A lot of my evenings have been spent watching TV until I’m tired enough to go to sleep, but this game had me transfixed. I’m not the sort of person to take my 3DS with me when I go places, but I regretted not having it with me when I was stuck on a long train ride last week. I had to make do with some inferior mobile Picross game, with ads and boring, generic, non-Zelda: Twilight Princess themed puzzles.

The next mode is Mega Picross, which adds a couple of new rules to shake you out of your complacency and is a good shock to the ego. The downside of this is that it is comprised of the same 45 puzzles as the normal Picross mode, though they are in a different order. You soon realise these are shapes you’ve seen before, puzzles you’ve solved in a different way, and the sense of discovery is lost, somewhat.

The final mode is Micross, which is a huge 800x800 grid. You’ll first need to solve an easy 8x8 grid, and then you will go into each individual cell and solve a 10x10 puzzle. This mode can take 2-3 hours, and likely over many sittings, as you gradually chip away at the mural beneath. This mode also doesn’t penalise you for incorrect guesses, but neither does it immediately tell you if you’re correct. Each puzzle will only end when everything is correct, but if you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way, you need to work it out and fix it. Finishing off this giant puzzle was very satisfying.

In terms of the music, it does get repetitive. There are a couple of different tracks for the menus, but each Picross mode has one piece of music that plays for every puzzle. As much as I enjoy the music from Twilight Princess, hearing the same piece 45 times did get tiring, particularly when some puzzles could take over 30 minutes to complete – that is a lot of looping. The Micross music was suitably epic, though. I believe it was from the final boss fight, so it had a suitably epic feel to it.

I’m surprised I managed to write nine hundred and fifty-two words about a Picross game. It has made me want to seek out a few more. In terms of fun, free time wasters, you could do a lot worse. This has reawakened my tired mind in a way few games can, particularly on those weeknights after a long day of work where I don’t usually feel like doing anything.

4/5

jerec's avatar
Community review by jerec (November 12, 2019)

On very rare occasions, Jerec finds a game that inspires him to write stuff about. The rest of the time he just hangs around being sarcastic.

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honestgamer posted November 12, 2019:

I first discovered picross with 3D picross on the DS, which I enjoyed immensely, and there's a sequel on 3DS that I downloaded but haven't played. It puts a 3D spin on the classic game. If you want picross with punishment for bad guesses and a sense of urgency, PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids on Nintendo Switch is a nice option (I reviewed it in August). There are a lot of picross games available for download on Switch and on older Nintendo platforms, and some games in a similar vein such as Piczle Lines DX that might similarly delight you. Thanks for this review. I too used Nintendo Coins to redeem this one, so I might have to get around to actually playing it myself!
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jerec posted November 12, 2019:

Thanks for the recommendations! I did notice a few on the switch, which I'll need to look into.
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Masters posted November 13, 2019:

There it is! Congrats on the annual review contribution!
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jerec posted November 13, 2019:

Baha! It's actually my second review this year. I did a Fire Emblem: Three Houses review back in August which landed on one of the busiest non-October weeks this site ever had.

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