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Sanrio Characters Picross (3DS) artwork

Sanrio Characters Picross (3DS) review

"Sanrio Characters Picross offers 150 picross puzzles with convenience features, virtual stickers and a relaxing vibe."

Sanrio Characters Picross is exactly what the title suggests: a basic picross game from the capable folks at Jupiter Corporation (best known for their many other picross games), using character artwork from the Sanrio universe.

There are around 150 puzzles to solve, starting with a few basic ones (just a 5 rows and 5 columns in size) and then quickly moving onto more challenging ones consisting of grids as large as 20x15 panels. When you finish solving a puzzle, you receive rewards in the form of "stickers" and then you can select whichever one you would like to tackle next. There's no gating to prevent you from going right to the most advanced ones if you feel like it, and the tutorial lessons can be skipped if you wish.

Picross is a logic game, wherein players use the information they have about the number of panels within a row or column that contain part of a picture. As they decide where relevant panels might be located, this placement allows them to make guesses about where others must also be positioned. It can get addictive in a hurry.

Sanrio Characters Picross seems to have been developed with a younger audience in mind (there's a shock!), and so there are some accessibility features. For instance, you can take advantage of a "roulette" as you first access a puzzle, which will light up one row and one column to give you a head start on solving the puzzle. If you try to place a panel where it doesn't belong, the game will also place an "X" to let you know that you guessed wrong.

Sanrio Characters Picross (3DS) imageSanrio Characters Picross (3DS) image

Such accessibility features can be disabled from an options menu, where you can also choose whether to control things using your stylus or the d-pad on the 3DS unit. The stylus can sometimes be handy, making it easy to mark numerous spaces in a row in a hurry, but if your hands are shaky or you are in a hurry, you might accidentally mark a panel you didn't mean to in error. There's no penalty and no score, but it can still be mildly frustrating.

With sugary sweet presentation that includes upbeat and generally relaxing tunes, Sanrio Characters Picross is a great way to wind down after a stressful day at work or on the playground. It also rewards your creative side, since the stickers you gain can be used to mark up boards. Younger gamers who have a thing for the Sanrio characters (such as Hello Kitty) will likely find this mode interesting, though it can feel a bit fiddly to adults who have less desire to place virtual stickers all over the place.

Thanks to a robust selection of puzzles and settings that are easy to modify, Sanrio Characters Picross was a solid addition to the 3DS library when it arrived at the end of the system's heyday. Don't hesitate to give it a shot if you are looking for still more picross puzzles to keep you busy. Otherwise, you might prefer the Picross e series, also from Jupiter Corporation.

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Staff review by Jason Venter (December 12, 2021)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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dagoss posted December 23, 2021:

Great review. I can't believe Jupiter is still making picross games that are relatively unchanged from the original on GB (the "roulette" feature was present in the original too). I guess if it's not broke, but still--

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