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I'm being heavily editorial on the piece because I'm interested in this, and I think there's a lot of good stuff, but I just jump out and say "I'D DO IT THIS WAY." As a former fan of paint by numbers games & the cool designs they can make, I'm very curious about 3-d. And I also think that the best way to describe 3-d is to start with 2-d and expand. At least it was that way in math class. There's a lot of 2-d picross stuff out there and even poking around could give you a way to ease the reader into the whole essay. Maybe we are talking different languages at times when I am thinking of 2-d picross, but 3-d picross does scare me a bit. Does it require 3-d reasoning? Does it let you do a lot of 2-d as practice? Is it directed towards fans of the concept? Were you one, before playing?
The task of putting the appeal of a puzzle game into words always presents a challenge. This does potentially make the essay sound more like it is about what you want to write than about the game. I don't know if you've played a lot of 2-d picross? That is the angle I would take.
It's fun to play, but on paper it doesn't necessarily sound like it would be. -- well, you did skimp on the discription. Blocks -> tetrominoes, and completed rows vaporize. It's kind of funny to watch the whole circular reasoning behind puzzle games, but I think the game can be described and you get a little lazy. Then you say P3D's merely an engaging time killer and provide reasons against that,
You basically just knock blocks around with your stylus and hope that you hit the right ones so that you can keep chipping away at a mass of blocks and turn them into a three-dimensional image of a flower or a butterfly or some guy walking through a doorway or whatever else. I think here it might be worthwhile to say there is no chance in Picross, though it may seem that way. I think puzzle games should be put on a continuum of how much luck is needed to solve them, and then they can go from there.
It doesn't sound exciting--and it isn't--and it doesn't sound engaging... but it is. Apologizing for maybe being boring twice gets...err...repetitive. It's tough to resist the temptation--do so!
If you've played Sudoku puzzles or even Minesweeper, know that the process is fairly similar. I disagree--Minesweeper is an exercise in minimal arithmetic and Sudoku requires you to track what is there and what isn't. If anything, Picross is more fun than Minesweeper because the final result is nonrandom and interesting, and Minesweeper (for Windows) does have those randomly unsolvable boards.
Telling people how to do descriptions of a puzzle game is kind of tricky, because I seem to feel that descriptions may go to one uber-description, but I think a more concrete example here is good. If you have a 10-wide row with 1, 2, 2 and 1, then you have groups of 1/2/2/1 in a row in that order. Or a 15-wide row with 6 and 6 allows you to fill in blocks 4-6 and 9-11. Or am I discussing classical Picross?
As with Sudoku, your chances of success increase the further into a puzzle you progress. This is a good relation although I like to think of getting to the end of a 2-d picross as a sort of jailbreak. You sort of weave between rows, columns and stacks until it all falls apart.
a fact that makes things more... interesting. "a fact that" can and should be collapsed. I also think that these additional hints mentioned below seem necessary because 3-d visualization is pretty tough. I'd be curious if this allows several ways to a solution, though I think you address replaying later--it's fun to see a puzzle you thought was hard and how it's easy now.
So like I said, the process doesn't necessarily sound exciting and it isn't meant to be. Grr. :)
What it tries to do--and what makes it such an enjoyable time killer--is engage the player's mind. Again, this is restated unambitiously other places. It makes the review feel smooth--but it takes away from content.
The game makes for an excellent alternative to television in that regard. Most games do. This seems like a throwaway line.
I'd also be curious how easy it is to correct mistakes.
cartridge, plus there are ", plus" is a runon that pops up a few places. Perhaps here "Many download packs supplement the initial 300 puzzles..."
I downloaded a pack of five puzzles released by Nintendo, one of several available. It took only seconds. More official puzzles are apparently on the way, plus there are regular competitions to design your own puzzles for others to enjoy. You can do that either locally or you can find some online. This is cool--being a stickler again I think that these download packs are probably low in size, because you only need about 5k per puzzle. That may be too technical. Maybe I'm just throwing it out as a possibility.
You can limit yourself to one of the three difficulty tiers, you can give yourself more or less time and you can modify the number of 'Strikes' that are permitted. Hmph! I'm a purist who believes if you get it wrong, you don't deserve to know. Well, that's me.
One concern I had early on... This feels sloppy even though it reads ok. "I was worried I'd never get to all the puzzles because I couldn't get through the easy ones, but the progression felt natural." Maybe you can do something with Picross helping you learn I'm-not-sure-what.
I like the description of trying to figure what a puzzle is. I have this problem with 2d sometimes.
"You can always use the stylus to easily move the camera around and it seldom gets caught on any corners except for on the larger puzzles." <- 1st- to 2nd-person switch. "The stylus moves the camera around easily, except for the occasional corner snag in larger puzzles. But you don't have to futz."
Even though it's not exciting, Picross 3D is one of the best values available on the handheld today. I recommend it wholeheartedly. This is a weak conclusion "Even though it's not exciting, ... I recommend" Perhaps it balances out shooters you're too emotionally exhausted for? I think you made a good point earlier about how it ramps up to other games. And how you could play it until your eyes got tired. Perhaps something like "it won't appeal to those who demand instant excitement, but that is their loss."