· Around 3 minutes

What? It’s Friday already? Between playing Guild Wars 2 and the recent releases of both Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and Battlefield: Hardline, I haven’t prepared anything! Well, I have actually been playing quite a bit of Picross 3D. It’s a bit of a tough one to write about being a puzzle game but screw it, let’s try anyway.

The basic concept of each “level” is that you’re given a rectangular grid made up of small cubes. Once you’ve removed all of the blocks that aren’t needed using the clues available, the leftover cubes will reveal a 3D image. You might be end up with a microphone or a fire axe to add to your collection of finished items.

You’ll see that some of the cubes feature numbers on them which will tell you how many blocks in that line are staying. So for example, if you have a horizontal line that has a 5 on it and that line is 5 blocks long then all of those blocks are staying. Meanwhile, an intersecting vertical line might have a 1 on it. Since we know that the horizontal line is the row that is staying, we can break off all of intersecting blocks except the one that we have marked. Confused? Err, perhaps the video will explain it better.

Hopefully that helps with understanding at least the basics but the majority of it will only make sense once you start playing and finish the tutorials which are recommended. In addition to your hammer and marking brush, you can also alter your view to single out specific slices of a cube. As the difficulty ramps up, it becomes an invaluable tool that lets you focus on one segment at a time rather than having to deal with all of the information on screen at once. Make sure not to spend all day thinking though because if you want to get a perfect score, you’ll have to be under par and make sure not to break any essential blocks by mistake.

While I’m not sure exactly how many puzzles there are, the box art says that there are over 350 which should be more than enough for puzzle fan. There is also the ability to create and share your own puzzles although I’ve never had the chance to try it out. Before you ask though, yes, you can create a 3D image of someone’s junk.

Other than that, it can be pretty fun just messing around recreating your favourite pixel art sprites. Picross 3D is pretty cheap nowadays so I’d say pick it up if you’ve got the extra dosh. You can do a few puzzles here and there when you’re bored which is perfect while waiting for super long loading screens or mandatory game patches.

Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Released in 2009 (JP) / 2010 (NA and EU)
Platform: Nintendo DS