Mario’s Picross, developed by Jupiter, is a puzzle game originally released on the Game Boy in 1995. It released and not much ever happened with the new IP until a decade after (Picross DS). This only means that the game flopped in the sales department sadly, as the core gameplay mechanic is highly addicting yet so simple. A 5×5 or 15×15 grid stands in your way to uncover pixelated objects. These grids are outlined by numbers ranging from 0-15 on the top row and on the left column. These numbers represent how many pixels need to be chiseled to ultimately find an unknown object. Numbers that are stacked on one another mean that a space needs to be between them. How many spaces depends on the puzzle itself, which is the primary gameplay focus to figure these out as to not warrant the ubiquitous game over screen that you’ll inevitably see. Nintendo brilliantly decided to make Mario into an archaeologist to make sure the game has some sort of connection with the puzzle aspects of the game (also to sell more copies). Seeing the game is a simple puzzle game, that’s as far as any story you’ll get so don’t expect much else from Mario’s Pircross.
Not having anything else to work with when it comes to Mario’s Picross isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the game is simple to play yet difficult to master. One wrong move and you will deduct time from your time limit (30 minutes per puzzle). Constantly making mistakes will net you the game over screen. Lucky for you the game does offer hints on puzzles, which defeats the purpose of the entirety of the game.
As stated before, Mario’s Picross lacks content within this 21 year old title. Mario is only ever seen on the top left on each puzzle and that’s it. Obviously Mario’s name is only on the title to sell more copies. This of course doesn’t make nor break the game as the game is fun despite for the lackluster amounts of content.
Not much can be said on this handheld classic besides that you need to pick it up if you enjoy puzzle games on the go. Make sure to download it on the Nintendo eshop for the 3DS family lineup of handhelds for $3.99 as it’s worth every penny.