Picross doesn’t need an upgrade but this was an interesting concept…
Fill-A-Pix Phil’s Epic Adventure – Nintendo Switch – Released: 7/12/18 – $7.99
Review (Review copy provided by Lightwood Games)
Picross is a series that originally I hated but as time went up I grew to really enjoy it. I picked up games like Picross S and recently purchased Picross S2 and love both of them. They are easy games that are quick to learn, tough to master, and an excellent way of killing time. Lightwood Games is in an interesting place as they seem to know they like making experimental puzzles games. Some good, some bad, but overall interesting experiences.
Fill-A-Pix is a new way of taking something like Picross, Sudoku and mashing them together.
Picross is a series that you have numbers on the edges that tell you how many blocks are filled in that row. Sudoku fills in numbers as you try and figure out what numbers are missing from that block, row, and column all at once. Fill-A-Pix fills in numbers as you try and figure out what numbers are missing but takes the Picross approach of informing you of how many filled in squares are in that 3×3 block.
Now if that sounds confusing… that is because it kind of is. But just like Picross and Sudoku, you get better with time and Fill-A-Pix holds your hand every step of the way if you allow it.
The problem with the hand holding is that you can’t disable it. If you make a mistake in any way, the game will inform you that you currently have a mistake and there are no options to disable it. Not having the option to disable something like this is brutal because I could be enjoying my time playing the game, make a slight mistake and the game is quick to correct me. It is a pain and stops the groove I was currently enjoying. In most cases I never have an issue with any of the puzzles and currently on track to 100% it.
Hand holding is very acceptable in a game like this but Fill-A-Pix takes it a bit too far. Things like that should be in the options but I do enjoy that there are hints, auto correct, and error notifications if you tap the right button combination. So if you are having a rough time or low on time you can easily blast through a picture just to quickly finish it and do something else.
My biggest concern with the levels is the saving. It does save and auto saves if you quickly turn the game off but levels are fairly long as my first puzzle took around 25 minutes as you can see. This isn’t as much of a big deal but can be a pain if you are already in a groove. Many people like myself would enjoy this game on a short train or bus right to and from work. Typically I only have a 20 minute bus ride to work so I wouldn’t be able to finish many puzzles in one go.
Fill-A-Pix is a very interesting concept that needed to be ironed out before launching. Lightwood Games is great at making this cool, unique types of puzzles games that I love but it is hard to recommend them when basic things aren’t present. Fill-A-Pix isn’t a game that I will just shelf and never play again. Just like Pic-A-Pix, I will be finishing the entire game and purchasing DLC. I didn’t even bother the developer for the DLC of Pic-A-Pix because I enjoyed the first game so much. I am glad that Fill-A-Pix is coming at just the right time for me as I go back to work. It is a great way for me to relax and worry about something else as the clock ticks down on my breaks and my students return to me.
Now this game is definitely not for everyone and I pointed out the good and bad but ultimately I know I enjoy the game. It is a puzzle game that tries to change the typical formula for good or worse. I love the idea but somethings can be fleshed out and puzzles could be broken into smaller sections. Not everyone can easily put the Switch away and play later without fear of it dying. I have a desk in my classroom so that means I can plug it in behind the desk and no one would know. Should you buy it? Eh, I don’t know since I am not you and I already plan on buying DLC.
My Gameplay Footage:
Currently backed up with things to do so should be up this weekend along with other videos. Sorry about that! Parents went away so not in my usually place for writing and no editing equipment.
Trailer: (Only have the 3DS Trailer)
None for this one as I just wanted to show some of my world liquors that I have acquired over time. The game is about developing pictures from another the world so thought it was be nice to share some of my collection for once.
Decided to still include the “Final Thoughts” just to wrap things up. I think it is a good thing that pulls everything together and if someone were to quickly read the review the “Final Thoughts” could easily re-validate someone’s purchase if they were on the fence.
As time gets closer and closer to when I start work reviews will slow down more but don’t worry just like last year every weekend will be dedicated on working on 2-3 reviews each week that will be published during the week. I decided that I should go back and start back up the weekly review post with some slight modifications.
I am still thinking about some new ideas for the website that I will be testing out. Indie Gamer Chick has her leader board idea that I checked out a few days ago. I like the idea so that idea will now become my idea but with a more Kotaku twist. I plan on doing a type of Top 10/Bottom 10 for multiple genres like Kotaku but take IGC’s idea of placing games in the list with each review. If a game cracks one of the Top 10 or Bottom 10 it will be replaced and a post will be made detailing my reasons why.
I am getting to the point where my review page that list every game I’ve reviewed is getting a bit full so want to create another page to narrow down some of my personal favorites. If you didn’t notice I did lie about Dead Cells for today but for good reason. I wrote it all in one go and decided to give it a day to re-read and look at with new eyes for edits. Writing in one fluid motion is great and all but I am a teacher so mistakes are made and I can’t just let those go live all the time.
So as always let me know what you think of this game, planning on buying or already own it, and I’ll see you in the next review.
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