| Tappingo

A quick glance at Tappingo might induce you to think of Picross, but it's something else entirely. Tappingo is much more similar to, but much simpler than, Drawing mode in DS puzzle heavyweight Pic Pic.

This puzzler is all about creating lines of colour to finish a pixel picture on the top screen. The pictures can range from a SNES controller to a narwhal or griffon, but it's really all about the mechanics.

Each grid placed in front of you features a bevy of grey blocks, scaffolding the puzzle, alongside several coloured blocks, some of which show numbers.

The number inside each block represents how many empty slots on the grid it's meant to fill with a tap and a flick up, down, left, or right. Go over or under the number of grid spaces you need to fill and the original block will flash, displaying how many spaces you're over or under by.

Hmm... looks like there's an unlicensed reference in store for this puzzle

After a quick tutorial puzzle, your hand will unconsciously be going around the grid tapping and flicking away at all the obvious blocks that can only extend out in one direction.

Then you'll get overly confident and find yourself stuck in the centre of the grid with nowhere to go. "There must be some mistake," you'll assure yourself.

Nope. You'll have to recall a few extended blocks and, in doing so, wreak havoc on the rest of the grid, disassembling many of the other extended blocks until you're back where you were four minutes ago.

The unfilled parts of the grid on the right are disconcerting, but befit the image

There are 104 puzzles in total: 54 of which are easy 15x15 grids, with the other 50 being more difficult 24x24 grids. The easy ones take one or two minutes, while the rest are around seven minutes a pop.

It's best we don't discuss Tappingo's music. Just pop on a podcast or your favourite industrial jungle punk band instead. Works wonders.

Tappingo's only issue holding it back from top-tier puzzlers is its difficulty level. It's just too easy for puzzle masters, with the average puzzle never taking longer than ten minutes to complete.

But if you're looking for an undemanding puzzler to fill a few commutes, you could do worse.


Tappingo is a fresh take on the grid-based puzzle genre and the perfect treat for your brain and fingers when you need to kill a few minutes