Review: PictoQuest

Genre: Puzzle / RPG
Developer: NanoPiko
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Releasedate: August 08, 2019

PictoQuest

I love puzzle games and well, there’s a whole slew of puzzle games available on theΒ Nintendo Switch. I don’t own that many, though, because when I buy them, I like puzzle games with a bit of a twist. Enter:Β PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids. When I saw this game on the eShop, I thought this might be a fun little puzzler and I bought it for 5 euros when it was on sale (yes, I like bargain deals). As you can see from the game’s title screen the game has a cutesy graphic style and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a mobile game too. So, how does it hold up?

There’s very little in the sense of a story in this game. Apparently all kinds of objects, monsters and people have been turned into nonograms and it’s up to the player to fix all of this, by solving all of the puzzles.

NSwitchDS_PictoQuest_03

The gameplay in PictoQuest is pretty straightforward, you either press the A button to fill in a square, or you use the B button to set a X to indicate that this square shouldn’t be filled. During some puzzles you’ll also “fight” monsters and every time you complete a line you damage them. If you aren’t fast enough, the monsters’ attack gauge will fill and they will attack you instead. Lose all your hearts and it’s game over, although I wouldn’t know, because in my entire playthrough I never lost a single fight.

Besides the fighting monsters bit, there are also challenges where you have to clear the puzzle in a set amount of time, or aren’t allowed to make any mistakes. You can also use items to help you in your puzzle solving, these range from healing potions to potions that reveal lines, or squares or freeze your opponents so they can’t attack. But no matter how far you get into the game and how fun the RPG elements seem at the start, you just can’t help but feel that they’re a bit underwhelming. It’s a fun idea, but it doesn’t work nowhere near as well as it does with Puzzle Quest for instance. Maybe that’s because nanograms don’t really allow for a turn-based experience like my example, but I constantly had the feeling that the RPG elements could have been worked out better than they have been.

NSwitchDS_PictoQuest_02

The graphics of PictoQuest do their job and have a cutesy style, but that’s pretty much it. It’s functional, but sadly not a very memorable experience. The soundtrack of the game has some nice tunes, but overall it seems like they’re all over the place in the sense of their style and they seem to be quite short, which causes them to loop multiple times over while solving your puzzles. This causes the songs to become quite irritating, instead of accompanying the game well. Later on I simply turned the music off, which I didn’t miss at all.

Conclusion

Overall PictoQuest is a fun little Picross game, but the RPG elements aren’t as well developed as I had hoped when I first ran into this game. The story is, as I said before, irrelevant and you don’t have to expect an emotional rollercoaster of a story to go along with this game. Still, if you want to play some Picross with a little twist, then this game will keep you entertained for about 10+ hours. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

Graphics: 🌟🌟🌟
Gameplay: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Soundtrack: 🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟
Story: 🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟

Happy gaming!

~Jeffrey

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