I've been playing Picross S: Genesis and Master System. The best aspect of it, compared to other Picross games, is that the puzzles don't get unmanageably large as difficulty increases. I've played Picross titles where the endgame puzzles were expected to take over 2 hours, so to have difficulty hinge on, well, difficulty instead of attrition is refreshing.

The big problem is that part of the joy of Picross is seeing what you're solving come together as the puzzle progresses, but, frequently due to disparities in the original pixel resolutions vs. grid size, the puzzles don't really look like anything, even when you've solved them. For example: what is this?

If you like the games about which I post on my main site, you've encountered the subject of this puzzle before!

You'd be forgiven for not recognizing Wren, though. How about this puzzle?

The likeness is better but still not great.

That's not his portrait, of course.

(Taken from Modern Retro Gamer; sorry, the wiki doesn't have it for some reason.)

They're using these weird...derezzed recreations, I guess you would call them, to fit the Picross grid. Sometimes they stray a bit further from recreations. Wren's looking a different way from his original portrait:

And then there's Rika:

I've wished they'd make new art for these puzzle titles that draw from pixel games instead of just giving you freeze-frames of well-known art you've seen countless times, but this stuff seems like splitting the difference to no one's satisfaction. It comes off as lackluster approximations of better art, which is what it is.

Keep your eyes on Rhys & Rolf here while I lodge some miscellaneous complaints. There are ten pages of regular black-and-white Picross but only three of full-color Picross, which is a shame considering the bright palettes of the Genesis's standout titles. The game includes a third mode, "Mega Picross," where lines and hints for said lines bleed into each other, but it layers so many rules upon unintuitive rules upon Picross's elegant structure that I couldn't keep track of them all. (That Mega Picross actually *recycles art* from the other modes didn't help my engagement.) The game provides dozens of hours of entertainment, but I had to complain regardless.

Finally, an accurate likeness.


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