With each Picross e game, Jupiter refines the formula. Picross e2 brought us Micross, Picross e3 brought in Mega Picross and Picross e4 introduced 20×15 puzzles. Sometimes, it can feel like all the biggest and best things have already been done. Yet, with Picross e7, we see important alterations have been made to an already solid formula. The result is one of the best games in the series.
The first is the number of puzzles available. Picross e7 mains the tradition of offering Picross, Mega Picross, and Micro Picross puzzles. There are 150 standard puzzles, which are all repeated in the Mega Picross section. These begin at 5×5 and extend in size up to 20×15. This is the first time Mega Picross puzzles have been offered in that size, which is a nice challenge.
As engaging as new puzzles are, Picross e7’s quality of life fixes are the ones that make the biggest differences. One is an ability to set the input method. In previous Picross e games, you’d hold the circle pad or D-pad to mark squares. However, in more recent installments like My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the circle pad and d-pad acted as switches. Pressing it once would set it for various marks. Picross e7 gives you an option to switch between Hold and Switch controls at any time, accommodating everyone’s needs.
It is also possible to Mark boxes in Picross e7. This notation, triggered by pressing right on the circle pad or D-pad, lets you place a small, pink box in a square. This can be used to show a space that might need to be filled, without having to leave it entirely open. It’s great for times when you might save a puzzle, step away, come back and wonder if you hadn’t accounted for that space yet.
There’s also a handy feature that lets you see how you can improve. When you beat a puzzle, you might find yourself looking at a star on the completed icon. What does it mean? It’s a sign that you’re good. That star is only awarded when you complete a puzzle without using the hint feature or making any mistakes. In addition to trying to come in under par, by completing a puzzle within a certain amount of time, that badge lets you shoot for complete mastery.
Picross e7 is all about tidying up loose ends. Jupiter has looked at the previous six installments and gradually built this entry up into a near perfect nonogram. We have a nice selection of puzzles, spread across three different modes, and precise means of filling in our squares. It’s a wonderful entry to pick up and play this winter.