Game #139: Picross DS

Game: Picross DS

Developer: Jupiter

System: Nintendo DS

Year Released: 2007

Available online: no

Purchase Here: 

picross box

Released in 2007 and developed by Jupiter, Picross DS is the next attempt by Nintendo to make a picross video game happen outside the Japanese market. After the dismal attempt of Mario Picross in markets outside of Japan, Picross DS is the first of 2 games that would receive rave reviews and great sales in all markets. This is a typical picross game. The players use logic to fill or not to fill the correct boxes on the screen in order to complete the puzzle successfully. 

Picross DS has a few different options when it comes to the puzzles available. Normal and Free mode, which both have mini games for completing the puzzles successfully and in a fast enough time. Normal mode consists of Easy, Normal puzzles each selection including 15 puzzles. In Normal mode you are told of and punished for mistakes, in Free mode you are not. Daily picross is a collection of daily puzzles to help keep the mind sharp and (at least of the time of release) you have the option to download custom made puzzles while connected to wireless. 

Not a game that I would have paid to get and play. Just not my thing. Picross and Sudoku are puzzles that I am just not that good at. I am quite frankly not sure why this game is on the list, I’ll check the book and report back in the Final Thoughts section. However, for now at least I will go out on a limb and say that this game, good or not, should not be on the list. Just not a “must play” game in any circumstance. Enough wasting time, Let’s get to the Scores! 


picross gp

Picross DS has the graphics needed to make an electronic version of this puzzle and nothing more. The game graphics are clear and crisp. You are able to plainly see what is going on until they start trying to get fancy with the graphics. At a certain point in the game the puzzle board will start implementing themes to the boards and boxes and the art and animation does not come off clean. It is blurred and unclear what they are going for. Overall, not bad, when they overreach there are issues. 3stars


There are 3 different musical tracks in Picross DS. Rock, Ambient, and House. I left the music on in the background while doing other things and had mixed results.  The Rock and House themes got annoying fast and started blocking my concentration overall. The Ambient music blended in with the background noise and worked nicely. It is good music to not only try to play the game but to use as background music while working on other things. The other two tracks don’t last long for me. It was shut off immediately. The sound effects in the game are missed. There are not many to begin with but the music over takes it. 4stars


This is a typical puzzle game. The further into the game you get the harder it will be. You can also make the choice to increase the difficulty at any time. Just jump ahead to the harder puzzles if the easy ones are beneath you as far as skill level goes. The higher the level, the harder the puzzle. Put it in Free Mode and that multiplies the difficulty greatly. Standard difficulty progression in a puzzle game. 4stars

Entertainment Value:

For puzzle games this score is all depends on the person playing the game. For some, Picross DS would be a super fun game, for others this game is not fun but is a game to play to stimulate the mind. It’s brain training all over again. Sure it’s fun if you are looking for a puzzle to do to take your mind off of things for a while but ultimately it’s a puzzle game with little graphics and action. 3stars

Does it hold up:

The thing about puzzle games like this is that it is extremely difficult for them to hold up over time. It is possible but that depends on your memory. If you have a great memory and will remember the puzzles the replay factor is incredibly low and makes it difficult for the game to hold up. If you have not played the game before like myself and pick it up today, it is a decent game that ages very well. Ultimately, it comes down to the circumstance in which you are approaching the game. Judging on replay value this score is low. 2stars

Overall Score:

Picross DS comes in with an overall score of 3 out of 5. 


Not a bad game, just a normal game. The graphics are what they needed to be and then they tried to make it fancier. The sound was hit and miss and the game just does not hold up well for replay value. If you are into mind games, this is for you. As long as you haven’t played it before…. Give it a try. 

Final Thoughts:

According to the book, Picross DS is on the list because of the ability to successfully emulate the pen and paper feel of the non electronic version of nonograms. While I get it, it doesn’t explain why this makes a game one of the 1001 games you must play before you die. You can play the same thing in a book with a pen or pencil and have the same feel. Why waste a spot for a game like this? It should not be on the list. Not a bad game, just not worthy. 

What are your thoughts? Agree/Disagree? Have something to add? Leave a comment down below!  Do you want to help the Journey progress? Visit the Sponsor a Game page for more details to help keep this train rolling!


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