A mischievous ghost has scared all the paintings out of their frames at a gallery, and you're helping the artists to restore them. Games don't have to make sense.
Paint it Back is a take on the nonogram puzzle, popularised by Picross DS. In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, the aim is to fill in squares on a grid to make a picture.
A line of numbers at the end of each row and column tells you how many squares you need to fill in, and how they're grouped (e.g., 2, 2, 4), leaving you to work out where they actually go.
As with Sudoku, you fill the grid by inference and deduction. The trick is not to guess. Hints are available if you get stuck, and for larger paintings you can choose Normal or Pro difficulty, which breaks the canvas into smaller or larger chunks.
There are 13 themed rooms filled with amusingly named paintings like “Calisthenics with Farmer Joe” and “Portrait of a Guy Watching TV Way Too Close.” These get increasingly large and challenging as you make your way through the game.
Paint It Back features 140 puzzles and a Challenge mode, so you should never want for more - especially when you can drop 30 minutes on the tougher puzzles.
Even though your work hangs in a gallery, don't go thinking you're making fine art. Paint it Back is silly and the graphics are necessarily pixellated, all of which adds to the fun - you'll be eager to know what ridiculous artwork you'll be working on next, and to see how developer Casual Labs has gone about reducing a complex scene to a few squares.
The nonogram puzzle isn't new, and there are limits to what a developer can do with the concept, but Paint it Back gets the most out of its material thanks to a copious supply of puzzles for different ability levels, nice touches like a save option and the ability to play your own music, and a good dose of humour.