When Piczle Cross Adventure begins, we are given an introduction to previous events that have happened in the “Piczle Cinematic Universe”. Professor Molecule M. Matrix had invented a substance called “Piczle Dust” that could turn anything it touches into pixels. Our heroine Score-chan broke the Piczle Dust powered Piczlematic-3000 and all heck broke loose. Score-chan and her orange blob companion Gig had to travel around the world solving logic-based puzzles, eventually restoring the Earth to its original state. Despite saving the world, they seemed to have forgotten a pot of Piczle Dust floating in space for the villains to snatch up and use for their own nefarious ways. While the villains were busy concocting their own plan, the heroes were distracted with their newest invention, the Piczle Paint 3000. This contraption drains the colour from anything that it coats. Score-chan spills it everywhere and once again has to use the power of logic-based puzzle solving to restore everything back to its original colour. While all this craziness has been happening, Dr. Mona Chromatic has created a robot replica of Score-chan named under_SCORE to do her evil bidding. Equipped with the Monochromatiser 3000, under_SCORE will turn everything in the world to black & white.
To say this game is wildly imaginative is an understatement.
Underneath that colourful and wacky exterior, Piczle Cross Adventure, at its core, is pure nonogram logic-puzzle solving. Various things in the world have been turned black & white and it is up to you and Gig to travel to various locations such as a forest or convenience store to turn things back to normal by solving number-based puzzles. These “items” range from gazebos, ducks, police cars, flowers, fruits, people… you name it. Literally anything that has been zapped by under_SCORE will need to be brought back to life/their original colour.
Controls are simple. If you have played the original Pokemon game, you will feel right at home. You move your character and push one button to advance text or initiate a command. Puzzles can vary in size, with horizontal and vertical columns, each consisting of their own sets of numbers. In order to solve these, you need to figure out how the numbers must be placed down each column to form the picture of what you’re trying to recreate. Starting up a puzzle allows you the chance to get a clue (if you want a headstart), which will fill out one horizontal line and one vertical line. Some puzzles can be solved in a matter of seconds, while others really wracked my brain and took anywhere from twenty to thirty minutes of restarting until I finally prevailed. There is a certain sense of satisfaction filling in the squares through a process of elimination, which constantly kept me coming back for more and making me feel like some kind of genius.
In order to spice up the puzzle solving process (there are over 300 puzzles here to solve), you will be introduced to some quirky characters each with their own unique dialogue. Each time you solve a puzzle, you will gain some experience points that will eventually level you up, allowing you to take on more challenging puzzles. Some puzzles are large and will require multiple steps in order to fully finish them. There is a bit of story here to keep you interested and you are always working towards 100% completion which can become extremely addictive in itself. There are also different achievements to complete and a Puzzle Log to keep track of what items you have restored. There are plenty of things to see and do here that any hardcore completionist will gladly drool over.
I might be a bit biased since I played the Nintendo Switch version, but it feels like the superior version. There is a Steam version as well, but the gameplay and puzzles feel tailor made for the Switch, allowing for some quick on-the-go gaming. No matter which version you choose to play, if you have been craving a solid puzzle game with addictive mechanics, Piczle Cross Adventure will provide plenty of hours for you to sink your teeth into. – NVJ
Piczle Cross Adventure is now available on Nintendo Switch & Steam
Nintendo Switch review code provided by Score Studios