Picross is a puzzle game invented in Japan. It’s played on a picture-matching puzzle grid of squares. The catch is that each square can have only one picture in it.
The goal is to fill the grid by drawing pictures that match the empty squares, but Picross has some rules you need to remember. For example, you can’t draw a square with a picture already in it; if there are two pictures of the same character in a row, you must choose one and erase the other. There is also some kind of limit on how many lines you can put back-to-back.
When you solve a Picross puzzle, there will be several possible solutions for filling the grid. You match up the pictures on your own grid and choose which ones to use yourself. (You don’t have to tell anyone what you chose.)
How to Play Picross
Picross is a puzzle game that’s been around at least since 1990. It’s played on a grid of squares, and each square contains a sequence of numbers. You guess the sequence from left to right, then look at the next square to see whether you guessed correctly. If your guess was correct, you cross off the number in that square; if it was wrong, you add one to the number in that square.
The twist is that some numbers are hard to guess. Some squares have only one or two possible answers, and for those, only one choice counts as correct. So, you can spend a long time struggling to get the right answer by guessing from different rows if you’re not careful.
The hardest puzzles are when there are multiple possible answers to a row and when any answer makes sense in context, even an obviously wrong one. That’s where Picross really shines: it gives you genuine insight into how people working together can come up with an idea that seems dumb at first but turns out to be good after all.
Why Spend Your Time Playing Picross?
Picross is a game. It is not a puzzle. Picross is not a mind teaser. It is not a math puzzle. It is not an intellectual exercise. Picross is about having fun with bits and pixels, no more complicated, and it’s free, which means it’s accessible to everyone.
The picross app is a natural fit with the device’s touch interface. You can use the touch interface to play picross, and you can use the whole tablet to see picross puzzles in their entirety.
Picross is great fun, and it also has a deep logic that could be used to solve puzzles in other ways. For example, it can be used to represent numbers as patterns of boxes and lines. The number three is represented by this grid.
But there are still problems. For example, the graphical representation can’t represent negative numbers because if you put a block on top of itself, that doesn’t make sense. There are some unusual problems like this where solving the puzzle is completely disconnected from the problem it was invented for. Picross may seem like a simple, naive thing, but in fact, it’s full of interesting ideas that could be used in more complicated puzzles.