It's impossible not to love Picross. Not only do its grid-based numerical challenges induce a Zen-like puzzling trance, but you also get a pretty picture to look at when you're finished.
And yet, even with this glorious setup, there's still such a thing as bringing nothing new to the table.
Picross e, the first stereoscopic 3D title in the series for Nintendo 3DS, is definitely a Picross game. If all you want is more Picross, you won't be disappointed, because that's pretty much all you're going to get.Piece of Pi
For those unfamiliar with the core concept, the aim is to work out which squares on a grid you need to fill in based on the numbers lined up at the end of each column and row.
For example, the numbers 1, 3, 1, 5 at the end of a row tell you that along that line you need to shade in a single square, three squares, a single square, and five squares, in that order.
To work out exactly where along the row these shaded squares need to fall you have to cross-reference the vertical numbers with the horizontal ones.
It all makes for a great puzzler that will take you a seriously long time to work your way through. Picross is all about sitting back, taking your time, and grinding your way to the solution - but in a good way.
Picross e has a huge number of puzzles, and we suspect it's going to be weeks before we've finally finished with them. It's especially addictive to attempt to complete puzzles without incurring penalties for poking the wrong spots.Feeling cross
Those who've never played Picross before will have a blast with Picross e, but those who have need to be aware that this isn't really anything more than a bog-standard expansion pack.
The puzzles are fairly ordinary, and the pictures are less than inspirational - a few examples include an iron, a chair, and a bodybuilder.
Making matters worse, the stereoscopic 3D effect is among the most pointless we've ever seen in a 3DS game. The effect is barely noticeable, as everything is flat anyway.
While you're guaranteed a certain amount of fun because, well, it's Picross, there are better examples available. Once you've tapped your way through games like Mario's Picross on the Virtual Console, Picross e is a passable way to keep the party alive, but you'd be forgiven for expecting better.