I enjoy my fair share of puzzles and logic games that help exercise the mind. Am I necessarily good at them? No, but I still get them done eventually and have fun doing so.
Word Search puzzles are fun. I’ve always been a fan of Sudoku. I love word puzzles (just not crosswords or word scrambles unless I have a word bank) and jigsaw puzzles. One type of puzzle I recently got into was Picross.
I had never heard of the game before until Pokemon Picross came out in late 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. To this day, I’m not very far in the game. It of course has “energy” so if you use it up you need to wait a certain amount of time before you can play again. That said, I often went into puzzles, got stuck, and exited out of them to try a new puzzle. Thus, using up my energy in just a few minutes without actually accomplishing anything.
I understood the concept of the game pretty well though. The numbers on the left side and the top needed to match in the order and the numbers couldn’t touch each other. For example, if the grid is 12×12 and the numbers are 2 and 10 in that order, then you know automatically the row will have two colored squares, an X, and then then ten colored squares to fill up the rest of the row. Those rows, that equal the amount in the row, are the easiest to figure out. From there, you can figure everything else out.
Of course, it’s not easy to explain the game through a blog post. Even in person I have a hard time explaining the rules of the puzzle. It’s just something you need to play and practice in order to understand what to do.
I found a Picross app on my iPad and I’ve been playing it for a few months now. There are nearly 2,000 puzzles. There are two packs containing 64 puzzles, five packs containing 100 puzzles, and two packs containing 400 puzzles. I’ve completed them all and am about halfway done with the first 400-puzzle pack. I need to complete all those puzzles into order to unlock the second and final 400-puzzle pack.
The funny this is, while writing this post, I went onto the app to count the puzzles and noticed they updated the game. I thought I was going to beat the game fairly soon but they added a new pack that has 225 puzzles. So, I guess I’ll be playing for a while longer.
There’s a hint option for each puzzle that costs 250 coins (which you get by completing the puzzles). When I first started playing, I used the hint option a lot – to the point where I ran out of coins and I just needed to scratch my head and really think until I got more coins.
Now, though, I have a ton of coins because I haven’t needed to use the hint button in a long time. It’s amazes me how much your brain can learn and figure things out when you do the same thing over and over again. Even if I get super stuck, I sometimes exit out of the game and immediately jump back into it. Right away, my mind finds what I was missing just a minute ago.
While I have nearly 800 puzzles left to solve, I’ve completed more than half of what’s on the app. I’ve been playing for months, but it tracks how long you’re on the app for. According to it, I’ve played the app for almost four days. This means that it’s taken me a little less than four days to solve all the puzzles I’ve solved. I’m pretty impressed with myself.
Picross isn’t an easy puzzle to solve or to even understand in the beginning. I never thought Picross would be my go-to puzzle, but I’ve been enjoying it more than I thought I would. I definitely need to look up the Picross games on the Nintendo Switch and give those a try.