There are plenty of old-school indies but you don't see many that look like Game & Watch games so here's one and it's pretty cool.
Piczle Puzzle & Watch
For starters, what the heck is Piczle Puzzle & Watch? Well, it's a collection of 3 games made by Score Studios who created the Piczle series of puzzle games. Although its presentation may lead you to believe that these games were actually physically available back in the day, it's all an illusion and a genuinely authentic one at that. Each of the 3 included games seems like an actual Game & Watch title from the cute sound effects to the simplistic LCD visuals. On top of that, you can examine each game in 3D and read manuals which makes the package feel all the more like the real deal. It's very cool stuff so be sure to check out the other Piczle games that I reviewed.Piczle Lines DX Review Piczle Colors Review Piczle Cross Adventure Review
First up, we have Piczle Cross which is a basic iteration of Picross and plays exactly as you would expect it to. Although the interface is kind of clunky due to its minimalism and I sometimes accidentally pressed the opposite button for marking or drawing-in tiles; it's still a charming interpretation of the Picross formula. Plus, there are hundreds puzzles to solve within 2 modes that differ in challenge as one of them restricts how many mistakes you can make. Overall, I enjoy this retro approach although adapting to it requires some time.More games that play like Picross
The second game in Piczle Puzzle & Watch Collection is Piczle Pattern which, quite frankly, is the weakest offering here by far. I'm sure you've played dozens of mini-games or puzzles in other games that have you try to colour in a playfield by toggling areas of tiles until it's completely unified and that's all Piczle Pattern is. There are 2 modes: the first has you try to colour in a blank playfield while the second starts with a random assortment of pre-coloured tiles. It can be fun to tinker with to pass the time but it's not all that engaging.
Finally, we have what I consider the highlight of the package which is the very clever Piczle Loops. In this puzzle game, it's your job to draw a line by toggling walls around tiles that'll hopefully end up resembling a loop. There are numbers scattered around that tell you how many walls are around certain tiles and the rest is up to you. Some trial and error and deduction is required and I quite liked slowly working out each puzzle solution. I imagine it won't be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoy it and hope to see more games like it.
Before wrapping this review up, I discovered a little Easter egg! 🥚 You can alternately control the games by tapping the buttons on the Switch's touchscreen but if you rub your finger on the LCD screen part, it leaves a trail just like it does in real-life. Neat stuff! 😆
Piczle Puzzle & Watch Collection does an impressive job of offering 3 games that feel like authentic long-lost Game & Watch titles. The games themselves may not be as impressive as their aesthetics but there's still some fun to be had here for sure.
- + Spot-on interpretation of the classic Game & Watch experience
- + Includes 3 very different puzzlers
- + Well thought-out extras
- - Doesn't really do anything new besides the clever Piczle Loops
- - Piczle Pattern is a bit too simplistic
- - Controls can be rather cumbersome