Pic-a-Pix Color is a cute and enjoyable Picross style game that's great for nonogram puzzle addicts who just can't get enough.
Pic-a-Pix Color is a logic puzzle game that closely resembles Picross although I believe that is a registered trademark so they couldn't use it in the name of this game. The more formal name of these kinds of puzzles is nonograms. Anyway, Pic-a-Pix Color features 150 different puzzle designs ranging from small 5x5 grids to much larger 20x20 grids. If you've never done a nonogram puzzle before, there's a lengthy info section in the menu that will go into quite a bit of detail about how to play the puzzles. The rules are simple: there are numbers on the top and left sides of the grid that tell you how many of each color cell appears in each corresponding row and column and in what order. It's your job to figure out exactly where they go in order to create the resulting cute piece of pixel artwork.
Using several different colors to create the images is a twist on traditional Picross puzzles. Instead of just telling you how many cells are shaded in each row and column, Pic-a-Pix Color also tells you which color those cells should be. This actually makes the puzzles a touch easier than normal nonogram puzzles as you can match up colors on the tops and sides and use them to help you fill in the puzzle.
Pic-a-Pix Color's controls work very well on PlayStation 4 although I wish there was a quick tutorial on what the buttons do before you start your first puzzle. You can move across the grid using the cursor or D-pad and the left and right shoulder buttons cycle between colors. Pushing the X button colors in a cell while pressing O places an X on a cell (meaning no color goes there) and it also allows you to erase any filled-in cell. A welcome feature is the Fix button which tells you how many cells are colored incorrectly and gives you the option to have them automatically corrected if you so choose. More advanced puzzle fans would probably rather just start over if they've made major mistakes but for novice players, this can be a nice feature to help you learn the ropes and advance further.
The PlayStation version of Pic-a-Pix Color is Cross-Buy which means you'll get both the PS4 and Vita versions with a single purchase. I spent some time with the Vita version as well seeing as these types of puzzles are great for quick play sessions on mobile devices. It plays well on Vita and you can use the console's touch screen instead of the D-pad if you prefer. However, I felt that slowed down my progress. Also, the larger 20x15 and 20x20 puzzles result in small numbers that can be hard to see when playing on PlayStation 4 so you can imagine that these puzzles are even trickier to see on the Vita's much smaller screen.
Besides the bigger puzzles being hard to see at times, Pic-a-Pix Color's other issue is its music which isn't terribly catchy and gets repetitive rather quickly. Because the volume and sound effects don't affect gameplay in any way, it might be a good idea to play Pic-a-Pix Color on mute while listening to your own music of choice or while streaming a favorite TV show or movie on a nearby device.
I've always found Picross-style puzzles to be an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an evening after a long day of work. Pic-a-Pix Color may be nothing revolutionary but it is a completely functional and enjoyable nonogram puzzle game with a slight twist.
- + Solid controls that make the puzzles easy to navigate and solve
- + Additional colors add a nice twist
- + The fix button is a great inclusion
- - Larger puzzles have numbers that can be hard to see at times
- - Dull and repetitive music