Thanks to DevHour Games for the review code
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 02/28/2020
Yet another picross-puzzle solving game has come to the eShop, and this time the main gimmick revolves around solving multiple boards in the form of each puzzle having layers. The menus here feel a lot more smooth than the Lightwood titles, and remind me a bit of the Tappingo games, offering very nice menus and surprisingly great background music, the latter aspect was very surprising to hear, since the background song during puzzles is very calming.
The core of picross remains the same, and here Depixtion sticks exclusively with the color rules, so everything I noted in other reviews of these types of games apply here, in that you solve a picture puzzle to reveal an image by filling in the correct squares.
However, Depixtion does try to make things stand out a bit, as most of these games do, and how Depixtion does it is by making each puzzle three in one. Each layer focuses on a certain color, and the two options for filling in the image is by using a light square or a dark square. This means each individual layer is limited to two colors, but the full puzzle uses six.
You can switch between them on the fly with the Y button, and once a layer is completed you move onto the others automatically. The button controls work very well for the most part, though it did annoy me at first that the B button was used for the darker shade, and X was used to erase or mark an error, instead of the other way around being an option. There is an alternate control scheme, but it only seems to be a feature for controller layouts like the PS4 and Xbox controllers, with B being used to confirm/mark the lighter shades, and doesn’t really help this minor gripe at all.
There’s also no touch controls at all, but I find those to be pretty irritating and in-the-way most of the time, so this is barely an issue in my book, and with how small the squares get in bigger puzzles, it wouldn’t be practical anyhow (you can’t zoom in on these small squares).
Still, at the end of the day, there’s plenty of puzzles to solve of varying sizes, and while it’s ultimately more Picross action, I was honestly surprised by how polished the experience was for an indie game. It feels as if it could easily work as a game that could stand alongside Jupiter’s Picross S series in quality and polish, but with much better presentation to enjoy than either the S games or the Pic-a-Pix series.
Considering how the game was so easy to get used to that I solved the final puzzle of the game in a 2 hour marathon session and had fun with it, Depixtion is definitely another solid picross title worth enjoying, as it’s a very easy one to get into and one that doesn’t really try to overwhelm you with much in the way of alternate play modes and whatnot, even though I still miss the lack of any sort of micross-ish puzzlers on the system (Maybe a Depixtion sequel could focus on micross puzzles, maybe, to fill this void?)
In conclusion, Depixtion is yet another Picross game on the Switch eShop, and on a marketplace with a bunch of picross-related games, it can be hard to stand out or be worth picking up over the other games on the eShop.
While Depixtion still has nothing that drastically makes it better or worse than any other picross game out there, it definitely is one of the more polished ones, and in my opinion, it’s the best picross on Switch that wasn’t made by Jupiter. There isn’t really any bonus modes or anything to really note, just 96 well-made puzzles that work great with the presentation. For the typical $8, that’s all you really need if you want to stick to a good formula.
I give Depixtion an 8 out of 10.