Hatsune Miku has had many memorable musical adventures but here comes a puzzling spin-off in the form of the lovely Logic Paint S.
Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S came out as a complete surprise to me. I only noticed it in the eShop while browsing the latest games and once I saw it, I just had to play and review it. I love Picross games and although I may not be as big of a Hatsune Miku fan as some other gamers; I find her presence to be delightful so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this puzzler. Anyway, at its core, Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is a typical nonogram puzzler where you fill in grids by using the numbered clues along the edges. Once you're done, the pixels that you filled in come to life as a picture is shown of what you coloured in. This moment is frequently funny to me because no matter which game you're playing or what puzzle it is, the solution almost always barely represents the picture and description that emerges.
The amount of puzzles in Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is quite substantial as there are 345 normal puzzles that range from 5x5 to 20x20 and 8 massive special puzzles that each require you to solve 25 smaller 15x15 puzzles. In total, that's 545 puzzles; wow! On top of all that, you can achieve up to 3 stars on every single puzzle by completing it, not missing once, and not using any hints. Plus, you can redeem these stars to unlock songs in a music menu with 18 in total and they're fantastic tunes so you'll want to get them all. You'll also acquire 354 lovely pieces of artwork in a gallery as you complete puzzles. As if that's not enough, you can even set the music that plays in the home menu and during puzzles as well as change your character to the vocaloid avatars Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Megurine Luka, Meiko, and Kaito but I just stuck with Hatsune Miku because she's the coolest. Well, that's certainly a lot of content, isn't it?
Although Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S follows the basic Picross formula quite strictly, it does feature some welcome niceties that help streamline the gameplay. For example, numbers grey out automatically and once you colour all of the correct tiles in a row or column, the rest of the tiles are immediately marked with an X which takes a lot of the tedium out of completing the larger puzzles although hardcore Picross veterans may argue that this makes the puzzles easier to solve. For the record, I appreciated this implementation a lot.
Working on solving puzzles is also a treat in Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S because the artwork and music are excellent. Whether you're listening to a vocaloid singing an upbeat pop tune or hearing an instrumental dance track, it's hard to be in a bad mood as you jam out to the soundtrack while methodically colouring in pixels. Also, watching your character of choice express emotions whenever you make an error or complete a row or column adds a charming layer of personality to the equation. I especially love watching them celebrate.
Finally, although I loved my time with Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S, this is a game review so I should really discuss its downsides. For starters, I've seen plenty of fantastic indies over the years that play with the classic Picross formula in clever ways and even the official games often have clever modes yet the gameplay here stays very true to the typical setup which made me wish there were modes that added some variety. Another substantial downside is that the controls are a bit too sensitive. Specifically, if you hold down the paint button for even a small fraction of a second while moving the cursor, it will colour in the next tile which resulted in a lot of accidental errors as I played. I hope there will be a patch that implements an internal timer to ensure that colouring in tiles is done more deliberately. Considering these are my only issues with this wonderful puzzle-filled experience, you can tell that it's a great game.
Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is the best classic-style Picross game that I've ever played thanks to its cheerful presentation, streamlined gameplay, ridiculous amount of puzzles, and rewarding unlockables. If you're a Hatsune Miku or Picross fan, it's a must-play.
- + Familiar and fine-tuned Picross gameplay with oodles of entertaining puzzles
- + Loads of unlockables to collect
- + Fantastic artwork and soundtrack
- - Could have done more with the classic Picross formula to create its own identity
- - Holding the paint button for a bit too long can result in some accidental errors