11 Nov

I decided to write this article to 1) increase awareness about one of the best puzzle games that I’ve ever played, and 2) piss off as many of my close friends as possible.


Picross has been around in one form or another since the late 1980’s.  The puzzles originated in Japanese magazines.  Picross is also known as Nonograms, Paint By Numbers, Griddlers and Hanjie in Japan.  In 1995, Nintendo released Picross (Picture Crossword) for the Game Boy and Super Famicom (Japenese Super Nintendo) in Japan.  Only Mario’s Picross was released for the Game Boy internationally.  I didn’t pick up on the series until its second release.


Picross DS was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007; it employed a 2-dimensional grid that was numbered along the X and Y axes.  Reading the numbers in an almost numeric logic problem process of elimination allows you to see which boxes on the grid are to be highlighted and which are to be deleted (marked with an X).  Once all of the extraneous boxes have been deleted, the highlighted boxes will form a picture.


The sequel, Picross 3D, was also released on the DS (not the 3DS believe it or not) in 2010.  This game added a Y axis to make the game even more compelling.  The same elements apply, but now you can slice into large blocks and widdle them down front to back, and up and down, block by block until you have a 3D image.


Why would this piss my friends off you ask?  Because I played it constantly.  I would play it in the car, on their couches, during parties, when people wanted to go to bed, play it instead of hanging out with them.  The game incensed so many of my friends that it isn’t atypical for one of them to prod me if they see me holding a DS, “What?  Are you playing Picross, you loser??”

The game is addictive.  I’m pretty efficient, but some of the harder puzzles can take upwards of 10 minutes to solve.  I’ve been known to play through 25 puzzles in a clip…hours of gameplay.  I’ve beaten Picross DS twice and am over 200 puzzles into beating Picross 3D entirely for a second time.  It’s also the best game to play on the toilet ever!  “All Hipsters must wash their hands.”

The game is so addictive that I don’t know what I was thinking introducing my girlfriend at the time to it two years ago.  My friends were not the only ones who suffered.  Picross 3D absolutely murdered my sex life.  A year ago, I’d say “Ok, I’m ready for bed…” (translation: “Teeth brushed.  I’m turning the lights off and I’m horny.”).  No response.  I would turn the lights off.  No response because the screen is backlit, just a matter of eyes refocusing.  Attempt to snuggle.  Her: “I swear to God if you make me hit the wrong block!”  Roll over and go to bed.

After a while, I looked something like this.

Moral of the story: if you are going to share Picross with somebody special, make sure you have two DS’s and two games.

One Response to “Picross”

  1. Arman Dezfuli-Arjomandi September 28, 2017 at 11:52 am #

    Oh man, if you’re addicted to this, dare I suggest you try Falcross? It’s got over 100,000 picross puzzles…it’s literally endless. Your friends will be fuming. https://www.falcross.com/

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