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Joystiq presents

DS Fanboy review: Picross DS

Picross DS is very much a puzzle game, despite its attempt to lure you in to its grids with a slow, comforting pace of gameplay. It can instill those emotions of tension as the clock ticks away or those almost-insurmountable mental hurdles we stumble upon so frequently in the genre arise, however. So, in a lot of ways, Picross DS is a genre-breaking title, taking things here and there, patching them together into a brand new game. A fun game.

Gallery: Picross

From the very second you boot the game up, it's apparent that the title has no feeling one way or the other for you. It cares not if you solve its puzzles with its aid or without. It's a comforting thought, as we normally envision the puzzles brought on from similar games as being the life of the title, slowly chipping it away with every block we cause to vanish or what have you, as it constantly attempts to thwart us and survive. Not so with Picross DS, for it knows its life blood runs much deeper than most puzzle games.

Your average 9X9 10X10 puzzle.

And, in all honesty, it does. There is plenty for the anxious gamer to do here. There is the Daily Picross Challenge, which charges the player with remembering to turn the game on every day to engage in its splendor, much like another Touch Generations title by the name of Brain Age. There are also the Easy and Normal Modes of play, in which several different puzzle challenges are neatly organized for the player.

Test your might!

In Easy mode, the game will even correct your mistakes for you, offering up a small penalty for your error in judgment. This is also the case in Normal mode, which offers the same gameplay, but on a more grand scale. Where puzzles are usually only 5X5 in Easy mode, in normal mode they can get as high as 15X15. There is also Free mode, which is the most difficult section of the game. Here, the game will not inform you of your mistakes and correct them, instead sitting in the corner chuckling quietly to itself as you attempt to solve its puzzles.

Then there's the My Picross section, which allows you to create your own puzzles and upload them to WFC, allowing your friends to download and play them. You can also download puzzles straight from Nintendo, but at the time of this review, none were available.

Look, my first match online!

The other big Wi-Fi feature is head-to-head play. Here, you and your opponent try to solve puzzles at the same time. Obviously, the quicker player walks away with the win, but what's nice about this feature of the game are the stats. Not only can you see exactly where your opponent is in terms of winning thanks to a nice progress bar, but you may also get a full read-out on their play history, including a winning streak, total matches played and total bouts won.

In the end, Picross DS does what most Touch Generations titles do: offers an experience that anyone, anywhere can appreciate. It has incredible depth through its sheer number of puzzles, along with an excuse to turn it on every day in Daily Picross mode. Add in the Wi-Fi support, and you have a recipe for success that has been tried and true on several of the best games on the DS.

DS Fanboy score: 9/10

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