Pic of the bunch?
Score Studios have been the developer that keeps on giving when it comes to Piczle Lines DX.
Switch Player Magazine gave the game a very favourable review when it first arrived on the Switch eShop last year, and since then it has been spruced up with free downloadable puzzles by the bucket-load. Content is king, and there’s absolutely tons of it. The simplistic nature of the puzzles must make them quite easy to draw up, and now the eShop has been graced with a standalone second game with 500 more of the things.
Piczle Lines is all about filling in a grid by connecting squares with lines, with the final board making up a picture. To do this, squares across the board have circles of a certain colour and with a number marked on them. You need to simply match them up – the numbers indicate how many squares the finished line must take up, and the colour is to be matched with another circle of the same colour. For example, you’ll need to match two red 6 squares by drawing a line between them which is six squares in length.
The act of drawing out these lines is one of the most satisfying experiences in puzzle gaming. It’s at its best when using the touch screen capabilities of the Switch to simply draw all the lines with your fingers, but can also be played with the traditional control stick and buttons method on your TV screen. It’s most definitely best suited to being played on travel journeys, however – the game kills serious time without ever being boring. Puzzles vary in difficulty, with some likely to last you five minutes max while the larger boards can take upwards of half an hour. Theoretically, you can play a puzzle quickly, but this is hard to keep yourself to, as once you get the rush of quickly jotting down a series of lines in quick succession, the sensation of getting hooked is really strong. You’ll be speeding through five puzzles in a row before you know it.
The only input gripe I had was moving along puzzles in handheld mode, where sometimes the game wouldn’t react to what my finger was trying to do. It’s a minor issue.
The original Piczle Lines DX had a story mode, which basically involved objects being wiped from the earth by a science experiment, and leaving you to fill in puzzles to return them to existence. This time, it’s all about the puzzles. There is one distraction from the meat and potatoes of the game, though – a bonus feature entitled The Art of the Piczle, basically showing off character sketches and some quite incredible start-to-finish explainer on how the pictures are created, from their early stages as a rough sketch to their final form of fully-fledged pixel art.
Again, this game isn’t expensive, and is just as recommendable as the original. Clever, beautifully addictive and with the developer’s hard work shining through, this is exactly the sort of puzzle title that I want to see developers coming out with on the Switch’s eShop.
It really was a tough ask to tear myself away from the game for long enough to put together this review. If that’s not the sign of an outstanding puzzler, I don’t know what is.