Thanks to Rainy Frog for the review code
Title: Piczle Colors
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 01/30/2019
In this spinoff to the Piczle Lines series, you help solve puzzles for Score-Chan and her friends once again, as she unleashed a wacky experiment that caused all the color in the world to drain away. The story’s a bit more focused here than it was in the other games, but it still isn’t a main priority.
No longer sticking with Piczle Lines‘ cartoon designs, Piczle Colors instead goes for a strange clay model design, where all the characters and parts of the UI are portrayed with realistic looking clay models. It looks very different from the previous games for sure, and takes a bit to get used to. As for the actual puzzle boards themselves, this game is more akin to Picross than the line-connecting puzzles of Piczle Lines DX, so the boards are very visible and look like your standard Picross board, with different color options to choose from on the side accompanied by a decent music score, a significant step up from the repetitive mess of Piczle Lines DX, and the slightly improved songs in 500 More Puzzles.
Piczle Colors groups its puzzles into several different categories, based off the different colors of the color wheel. Starting from the easiest category at Red and moving up from there, you have 50 puzzles in each category to tackle, at varying sizes. From 5X5 to higher sizes, the game will task you with clearing a certain amount of puzzles from a color in order to unlock the next set of puzzles. If you clear a puzzle without using a hint, (which like most picross games, will fill in a line for you) you’ll gain a medal that can be used to unlock menus in the options.
The puzzles themselves play like a typical Picross game, with the exception that there are no empty spaces on the board, meaning every tile will get filled with a color at some point. You can switch between the colors on the fly with the shoulder buttons or the touch screen, and you can paint in a tile with the touchscreen or the buttons. Another difference comes from how a line of tiles gets filled. For example, a horizontal line of 10 squares may have a blue 4 with a circle and a green 6 next to it.
A circle around a number means that those tiles have to be put in succession, like a standard picross board, while any number without a circle has to have some sort of break in the line. The first three tiles of the line would be green, the next four would be blue, and the remaining three would be green. Once you learn that mechanic, solving the puzzles should be no problem for any Picross veteran, and I found the Piczle puzzles to be simpler to understand than the Mega Picross rules in S.
One cool feature that the game lets you toggle is the ability to paint over an already painted tile, meaning that if you prefer to focus on one color at a time (meaning that you’d find all tiles that were green before moving on to brown, blue, etc) you can easily paint without having to worry about screwing up an earlier move. Likewise, if you prefer to paint over a tile instead of removing it, that’s an option too. Combining this feature with the touchscreen for painting is easily the fastest and my preferred way to play Piczle Colors, which is a good thing considering some unfortunate quirks with the button controls.
You see, for some odd reason Piczle Colors has a tendency to lag during inputs, for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes I’ll be navigating the menus with the stick or D-buttons, only for me to have to push down for a while or tap several times just to move the cursor once. Sometimes it’ll be the other way around and it’ll move several times with only one press. I thought this was an overall system problem related to drifting, so I tried to control the game with a hardwired Arcade Stick only for the same issue to pop up, indicating it’s the game’s fault. Smoother control would be much appreciated, especially considering how well the touch screen controls function, and it’s a bummer.
In conclusion, Piczle Colors is a fun spinoff in the Piczle series, and the shorter puzzles made this my preferred Piczle game of choice, even if it’s pretty much just a Picross clone. There’s a ton of puzzles available, along with several in-game achievements to tackle, so you’ll get your worth out of the $12 price. The clunky button controls are unfortunate, and kinda baffling considering how nearly every other Picross-like title I own plays much faster with buttons. Thankfully, stellar touchscreen controls make up for this shortcoming somewhat, even if it leads to the game being not as fun in TV mode as it could have been. For puzzle maniacs looking for more Picross fun, this is worth a look at the very least, and a great addition to the eShop’s puzzle library.
I give a Piczle Colors an 8 out of 10.