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Mini Review: Picross S6 – A Bold New Direction? A Fresh Take? Eat Your Picross, Son

Here we go again!

Let’s get one thing out of the way upfront: Picross S6 is just more Picross. No unique bells or whistles, no interesting gameplay hooks or gimmicks to make this sequel ‘different’, no bold new direction for the franchise. It is simply a new collection of almost 500(!) puzzles for you to solve, all of which are completed in exactly the same manner as the last couple thousand from the previous releases. In most game franchises, such a lack of distinguishing identity would be outright damning for a series on its sixth iteration (not counting spin-offs), and yet Picross shows yet again that it is the exception to this rule.

Picross S6 is nothing outstanding, but neither is it disappointing. If you’re not yet familiar with the franchise — come on, where have you been? — Picross is a relaxing and zen-like puzzle experience wherein you’re tasked with drawing up cute little pixel art drawings cell by cell using numbers along the sides of the frame as a reference. The rules aren’t hard to grasp, but each puzzle requires a certain degree of mental focus as you canvas each row and column in search for numbers that stick out. With each pass, you find cells that you can either fill or cross off, and this methodical process eventually teases out a (dubiously) recognizable image. It could be a cat. It could be a mountain. It could be a train. It could be a hot dog. It’s that ever-enduring question of “What is it?” that proves to be a strong lure, constantly taunting you to try one more puzzle to uncover what’s being obscured.

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