Pic-a-Pix Pieces (PS4, PS Vita) Review

Oh, I do love a good puzzle game and Lightwood Games always seems to release one when I’m in need of something more casual to pick up and play between major gaming sessions. Just like their previous release, One Word by POWGI, Pic-a-Pix Pieces is a new take on one of their existing games yet presented to us in a way which makes it fresh and ‘new’. It’s also yet another cross-buy game on the PlayStation platform – double the fun, double the platform, double platinum!

As you’d most likely guessed by the title, Pic-a-Pix Pieces is a twist on Pic-a-Pix Color(sic) which was released back in April 2018, yet this time it’s much bigger. So, if you’re looking for a new fix for your picross addiction, I believe I’ve found the game you need in order to satisfy your urges. 

Pic-a-Pix Pieces 1

I love Picross puzzles!

If you’ve never played a Picross-style (Nonogram) puzzle before, some of these images may look a little daunting or confusing. Your standard puzzle would have a grid with numbers down the right-hand side and along the top. These numbers tell you how many squares in that row or column are coloured in black. Using logic, you must work out which squares to colour in and which to cross out based on how the X and Y axis numbers match up. Pic-a-Pix Color changed this around by adding colours into the mix!

This meant that instead of having a few numbers on each axis, you had them in various colours. The same colour can’t be directly adjacent to another block of the same colour (so a 2 and 2 can’t be ••••, it has to have a gap like •• ••). This not only ramped up the difficulty but it also added a whole new spin on the puzzle, something I’d not seen since Picross 3d on the 3DS (I loved that game!). However, I won’t be going through the full ins and outs of how to complete one of those puzzles because I’ve already done that! Check out my review for Pic-a-Pix Color – I have a full explanation in that one.

So, just how is Pic-a-Pix Pieces different to the aforementioned game? It’s probably obvious but let’s look at it…

Pic-a-Pix Pieces 2

Hmmm, what could this be?

Pic-a-Pix Pieces is all about Pieces of Pic-a-Pix puzzles… There are twenty images to ‘reveal’ within the game, each one made up of numerous Picross puzzles. The Picross puzzles themselves seem to be a bit more advanced than we’ve previously seen as they tend to start from 10×10 (I’ve not seen any 5×5 ones this time around), yet the earlier ones are still very friendly to new gamers to the genre. Once you’ve completed all of the pieces of the puzzle, the final image is uncovered and you unlock your trophy. 

However, don’t fret Picross-fans! Just because there are only 20 main images to uncover doesn’t mean there are only a few puzzles to solve… I counted over 200 puzzles for you to work your way through in order to uncover every single image – a feat you must accomplish if you’re aiming to obtain the glorious platinum trophy! This setup is one of the features myself and others had asked for since the release of Pic-a-Pix Color last year, we wanted massive images which were made up of smaller puzzles as it’s always fun to try and guess what it is you’re trying to actually reveal (it’s a process which reminds me a lot of Catchphrase, a British TV show). 

Pic-a-Pix Pieces 3

That ain’t no hamster!

Helpful options from Pic-a-Pix Color are also present within Pic-a-Pix Pieces. If you get stuck or want confirmation everything is right – you can ask the game to ‘fix’ any errors you’ve made or simply tell you how many errors it can see on the grid. You can not only lay down crosses in squares you know will be empty, but you can also place down coloured markers so you know only that particular colour can be within that square. You can also add and delete actual solid answers without any penalty or consequences.

The whole game is very logic-based yet also incredibly simple and user-friendly to the point where both advanced and new players can enjoy playing without fear of becoming confused or stuck. This is what I love about Lightwood Games‘ games, I’ve not come across one so far which hasn’t been accessible to anyone as long as they’re willing to try and understand the rules of the puzzle. Speaking of simplicity, the developers have once again opted for a nice clean and clinical look to the game, everything is straightforward and the game gets straight to the point without a bunch of menus or loading screens to sit through.  

Pic-a-Pix Pieces 4

A highly overlooked feature…

Also, just like most of their games – Pic-a-Pix Pieces supports local multiplayer up to four people on the PS4 version and touchscreen controls on the PS Vita one. The Multiplayer is drop in and out with the push of a button and all logged-in users will receive the trophies as they unlock. Just like the recent games though, there is no score or competitive nature to the game as the Multiplayer aspect is all about working together in a co-op mode.

I tried this mode with my mother last week and it was a laugh – she isn’t really very good at logic-based games, as she prefers the simplicity of One Word by POWGI and Word Search by POWGI, so I found she would mess up big time whilst we played together! It turned the game from a ‘how to solve’ session to ‘what’s she done wrong now!’ session. 

One last thing, which I usually forget to mention, is the fact that Pic-a-Pix Pieces, as well as a few of the developer’s previous games, contains a rather robust colourblind adjustment tool. In any puzzle, press ‘Options’ and you can change the colour of each of the five colour blocks which the game uses. This is great and exactly what games like this need in order to keep them accessible for people who may see colours different from the rest of us. It’s not even a simple toggle where you pick from a few set options, you can literally adjust the RGB sliders and pick five distinct colours which all look very different to you. 

Pic-a-Pix Color video (same process for solving):

Final Conclusion:
Pic-a-Pix Pieces is the perfect evolutions from Pic-a-Pix Color, which Lightwood Games gave us last year. Instead of solving ~150 self-contained Picross puzzles, we’re solving over 200 10×10 – 20×20 puzzles which combine together to make bigger images. As such, the difficulty is ramped up a little due to no smaller grids and the fact you’re working on part of a puzzle and not an entire image. However, The game is fully accessible to fans of the Picross logic puzzle and also new players who have never experienced them before as the game brings you in gently and explains everything as you go. 

I genuinely can’t wait to see what Lightwood Games brings us next. I know one thing for certain though, it’ll most likely be a PS4 and PS Vita cross-buy with double platinums and tonnes of content!

If you enjoy puzzle games, why not check out my reviews for Lightwood Games’ previous games on the PS4 and PS Vita here: Pic-a-Pix Color, Fill-A-Pix: Phil’s Epic Adventure, Word Search by POWGIWord Sudoku by POWGI, and One Word by POWGI.

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A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Pic-a-Pix Pieces

£6.49
9

Final Score

9.0/10

The Good:

  • - Over 200 Picross puzzles to solve!
  • - Difficulty which ramps up as you progress
  • - Double platinum for one small price (if you own both systems)
  • - Logic-based puzzle which will keep you entertained for many, many hours
  • - Up to four players can drop in and out and earn trophies

The Bad:

  • - No really easy 5x5 puzzles so prior knoledge of the puzzle format will be an advantage

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