Editor's Rating

Picross 3D Round 2 is a great puzzler. It has a slight learning curve but once you get going it's hard to put down.

Level design

Picross puzzle games have been around for some time now. Nintendo themselves have been publishing them on the DS systems since 2007. While the picross concept is simple, Nintendo tried to up the ante with the original Picross 3D. And now, apparently, it’s time for round two!

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a picross puzzle consists of a grid of blocks. Next to the rows and columns there are numbers indicating how many blocks are present in that column or row. Basically, by a process of elimination, you can figure out what blocks go where to ultimately expose some recognizable shape. The 3D suffix adds, as you might expect, the third dimension to this principle. And in this game (Round 2) it deepens it even further by adding an additional color mechanic. This last addition basically means that you not only need to figure out what blocks go where, but also what color they have.

If the above explanation isn’t too clear just yet, you don’t need to worry. The game offers an extensive tutorial to help you get on your way, explaining every aspect of the game as you progress. Before you know you’re on your way to creating some of the most horrible looking 3D shapes in the history of the world. Guessing what the shape will turn out to be is a way of helping you with the puzzles but the shapes can be difficult to decipher, even after you solved the darn puzzle. But this doesn’t detract from the experience in the slightest. Figuring out what goes where is a compelling challenge. With three levels of difficulty it also suits various levels of players.

Playing the game involves a mixture of using the buttons on one side of the 3DS and the stylus. Basically you hold the system with one hand, pressing certain buttons and use the stylus with the other. Everything is set up in such a way that right-handed and left-handed play is the same. You use the buttons to set what the stylus will do. You can either mark something in a certain color, remove a block or “pencil” in a certain color when you aren’t sure just yet. The way the buttons have been assigned doesn’t give you an intuitive feel for what button does what, but the on-screen display helps clarify what you’re looking for and with some extended play it becomes second nature. However, whenever you use the wrong button, and get a strike because of it,┬áit always is frustrating.

Beside solving a puzzle you get extra points for doing it quickly and without any mistakes. The better you do the shinier the gem is you earn. While this does feel a little bit unfair, you can come back to any level to improve your score.

Picross 3D Round 2 also supports Amiibo. After beating some of the earlier “books”, you unlock the Amiibo book which will allow you to solve specific puzzles when you scan one of the supported Amiibo. The list of supported Amiibo is limited though, which is a shame.

Once you get going this game is very hard to put down. So it’s a good thing that it is packed with a total of 373 puzzles for you to enjoy. If you appreciate a solid logical puzzler, look no further.

Picross 3D Round 2 is a Nintendo exclusive playable on the Nintendo 3DS (Reviewed) and 2DS.