Thanks to Lightwood Games for the review code
Title: Link-A-Pix Deluxe
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 01/02/2020
Using the same sort of menus, UI, and music style as the other games in the ___ a ___ series, the presentation here is pretty much what you’d expect by this point, only with an eye-pleasing level of green. Like before, the sound bug that was in Pic-a-Pix Deluxe is completely fixed here too, though the differing nature of the game makes that inevitable anyway, since you don’t use the shoulder buttons for anything. The music is also 100% recycled from previous installments, meaning you’ll get some decent tunes, along with a few horrid ones that rotate at random, so there’s little to note about that, too.
Link-a-Pix is a puzzler where, like in other games in this series, you complete an image by solving a puzzle. Here, the game plays very closely to Piczle Lines, where you use the numbered spots on the board to connect them to another spot of the same number and color. The main difference between this game and Piczle Lines is that the entire board no longer needs to be filled, so there’ll be more empty spaces when an image is done, though otherwise both games have a very similar concept: connect the lines, make paths, then finish the image by finishing all the connections.
Really, that’s the most barebones, simplistic description I can possibly give, and there’s little else to say. The gameplay in Link-a-Pix is a lot more snappier and faster than in Piczle Lines, and the controls here are much tighter as well. Like with Pic-A-Pix, there are optional packs of puzzles to solve, one pack of which being monochromatic images, which are a lot trickier due to piece together due to everything being the same color now.
Of course like the other Lightwood games, if you solve a puzzle without using a hint, you can get a medal for your hard work, so solving the puzzles without resorting to hints is really the main way to get the most out of this game, and with over 100 puzzles to solve this game will yet again be another enticing, lengthy and fun puzzler experience, especially considering how gargantuan the final five puzzles are in particular: the time it’ll take for you to complete one of those could be spend clearing out entire pages of the smaller ones!
There’s little else to say here, outside of how Lightwood continued a basic franchise with another basic game, polishing things up to be very playable and engaging to work away at over the course of many months. If it’s like their other games though, then you’ll be seeing monthly DLC for it which will add a lot more bonus puzzles for a small price, so you can expand the game even further if you wait and pay long enough, and if Block-A-Pix’s support is any indication, then you’ll have an insane amount of puzzles to solve by the end of the year to the point that it may as well feel like you have the content of a sequel packed into all the DLC, the right way to do things. (In fact, currently Link-a-Pix offers DLC for the Color puzzles that were part of the 3DS game of that name, which is 120 more puzzles to solve for only $4!)
In conclusion, Link-a-Pix is yet another entry in Lightwood’s puzzle series that works just as well as all the others. As the developers continue to make minor QOL tweaks and bug fixes to the engine, it’s the puzzles themselves that make each package worth the buy or not, and I’m happy to say that this game is on the higher end of quality, right next to Block-a-Pix as one of my favorites in the series.
If you dug the Piczle Lines series, or at least their concept, then this is definitely a fun romp to pick up. At the very least, you can always try the demo, which gives the perfect amount of stages to help you decide if it’s worth a buy or not, though these stages are also included in the main game as bonus content, meaning that you’ll at least get good value for the $8 price.
I give Link-A-Pix Deluxe an 8 out of 10,