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september 13, 2012

Mario Picross

 Mario no Picross (JP) Picross 2

Picross was a popular game in Japan. Nintendo tried hard to market it in Europe and the US, but they failed. In Japan, several Picross games were published, but ROTW (Rest of the World) only got the first Picross for the Game Boy.

Some people consider it to be the most boring Mario game. Others are turned off by the name "Japanese crossword". Rest assured, it is only with numbers.

I think it is pretty nice game. Relaxing, logical. I would compare it to sudoku.  Or, if you have played minesweeper, wasn't it annoying how you would lose by random chance? That won't happen in Picross.
Mario's Picross Screenshot
Picture from gamefaqs, as usual.
You see for example how it says "8" on the column where the marker is. That means there are 8 joined blocks to carve out on that column. The "X" indicates there is no block at that place. Based on that, we know there must be several joined blocks in the middle of that column, and no blocks below the X.
If it says "3 3" it means there are 3 joined blocks on the row, then one or more spaces, and another 3 joined blocks. And so on.
You carve with A, and place an X with B. Simple.
There are several tricks you have to use to solve a puzzle and you never have to take a guess, unless you want to.

I have played a lot of Mario Picross 1, but not so much of Picross 2. Picross 2 has a story mode, unlike 1. But it seems the basic idea is the same.
The negative: It is *long*. Expect to spend weeks to solve all puzzles. If you just want to beat games and leave them, this is not for you. Also, while it is a pretty nice puzzle game, I don't think it is the most exciting idea. But if you are on a vacation and only can bring one game, this game would not be a bad choice.  I give it another 4/5.

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