Pic-A-Pix Deluxe is available now on Nintendo Switch and is priced at £6.99.
I became somewhat addicted to nonograms last summer. It was my dad that started it, during the long hours in the hospital he had downloaded a few little free monogram games onto his phone and showed them to me. I have a Windows phone (yeah, silly me right?!) so there were very few for me to choose from, but I managed to find a couple and quickly lose a few hours trying to decode the pictures.
I imagine that everyone reading is familiar with the idea of a nonogram puzzle, but they may not be familiar with the name as they can go by so many others. Basically they're like a crossword but for coloured blocks. Each column will have a number - and sometimes colour - attributed to it and you need to find where these coloured blocks reside. Do this for each column and you're rewarded with a pretty, pixellated picture. They are stupidly addictive and whilst they may sound simple enough, they can be incredibly tricky.
There are a couple of games like this available on the Switch now, Picross S and Piczle Lines DX. I have only played the latter but found myself losing an hour at a time rather than the ten minutes I had previously thought I'd play it for. I completed puzzle after puzzle in huge marathon sessions with Friends on in the background. It was the perfect game for the slump I found myself in at the time, allowing me to completely veg out. I completed it very fast.
So when I saw that Pic-A-Pix Deluxe was coming to Switch I knew I had to try it out. I downloaded the free Christmas themed demo first and whizzed through it one sitting, absolutely hooked on the simple gameplay and intuitive controls. I didn't use the touchscreen capabilities at all, for me it felt so easy with the Joy-Cons in handheld mode that I didn't even consider attempting a different control method. It made sense to me.
I was sent a review code on the Friday just gone and have spent the weekend snatching moments to play it whilst the kids are watching TV, or while I'm overseeing dinner. Then when they're in bed, when I could be playing LA Noire - which I'm in the middle of - I've found myself instead succumbing to marathon sessions of Pic-A-Pix Deluxe. So much so that by Monday I had finished the coloured puzzles, most of them with medals - which I think are given for not using the 'Fix' option or blank space markers. I never use blank space markers anyway, but I have used the Fix option a couple of times when I've been left flummoxed. I know I'll go back to get the rest of the medals one day though, it's nice to see them hanging over the finished pictures in the menu. First of all though I'm going to finish the rest of the Black and White puzzles found in the Extras menu, I believe I still have about five pages of puzzles left in there.
Pic-A-Pix Deluxe also includes a multiplayer mode which makes for some rather frustrating fun. I guess I'm more controlling than I thought, because I found it really difficult to work with someone else to complete the puzzles! We split the puzzle into segments, but I found it really difficult to relinquish parts of the picture for someone else to solve. It was a lot of fun though and it's certainly something I haven't done before. I found it much better to go back and do puzzles I had already completed on my own beforehand, I think it helped me feel like I wasn't missing out on solving the whole thing for myself. Silly, I know.
Overall, I've loved almost every second of the time I have spent with Pic-A-Pix Deluxe and I will be sad when I've completed all the puzzles. There is the promise of extra puzzles to be added in the future as paid DLC packs - one of which is available now for £3.49 I believe. These packs will typically include around 150 puzzles which offers pretty good value for money. The one at the minute includes the puzzles that were included in the Nintendo DS release, so if you have already played those puzzles save your cash for the next DLC pack.
I'd definitely recommend Pic-A-Pix Deluxe to Switch owners. It's a perfect fit for the console, especially in handheld mode which is how I primarily play my Switch. It doesn't tax the battery so you can get plenty of hours of nonogram goodness in a single charge and it is SO satisfying when you complete the puzzle that you've been struggling with for a little while and get a pretty picture!
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