GBAtemp Recommends: Mario's Super Picross

gbatemp_recommends_mario_s_super_picross.jpg

Many of us find ourselves holed up in their homes, whether it’s because the weather is starting to turn cold, or worldwide circumstances dictate that staying inside is for the best. Fortunately, inside is a great place to play video games, be it new or old. So, for those that have never heard of the name, or for those who have long since become acquainted with the game, let’s take some of our free time to look at the new-old Mario’s Super Picross in the latest issue of GBAtemp Recommends.

Mario’s Picross is hardly a new game, having been released for the original Game Boy all the way back in 1995. However, its sequel--released in Japan that same year--Mario’s Super Picross has only just managed to make its way Stateside this September, 25 years later. Having only heard the term Picross in passing, being vaguely curious about what exactly it was, combined with the boredom of what was available in the Nintendo Switch Online SNES library, I decided to try Mario’s Super Picross on a whim.

And it was entirely worth the two hours I unknowingly spent, hooked on solving little number puzzles of varying difficulty.

It should be noted that Mario’s Super Picross is untranslated and entirely in Japanese, but fortunately, the rules of Picross are simple to understand, and require no knowledge of any language in order to figure them out. There is an odd prompt you will get at the start of each puzzle, but it’s a simple question asking you whether you’d like a hint to start your puzzle-solving off with. Once you figure out which of the Japanese characters mean “yes” and “no”, you’ll effectively have mentally translated all the words present in Mario’s Super Picross. Easy!

2020121205474100-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg

2020121205585000-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg 2020121205520700-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg

The game is packed to the brim with puzzles of varying difficulties, starting with tiny 5x5 grid levels, and eventually advancing up to far more complex 25x20 puzzles. The early levels let you learn the rules to Picross without throwing you in the deep end, constantly introducing you to new tricks that you’ll need to learn in order to solve the more challenging puzzles that you’ll run into later on.

There’s something downright charming about the aesthetic of Mario’s Super Picross. For whatever reason, Mario is clad in full archaeologist gear, and you, the player, are using a hammer and chisel to carve out each spot on the stone-tablet Picross board. It doesn’t really make sense, but it honestly doesn’t have to--it’s got style enough to make it stand out, all the same. However, it is slightly disappointing that despite having Mario slapped onto the box and title of the game, the puzzles aren’t Super Mario or even Nintendo themed. Most of the puzzle solutions are either kanji symbols, or random objects, like a dolphin, dinosaur, or cat. A lot of them are very Japanese as well, with later levels having you solve puzzle outlines that look like an ancient samurai “Kabuto” helmet, a Daruma doll, Mount Fuji, and more.

2020121205573200-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg

2020121205480000-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg 2020121205494900-05DC14F80A13996B94160CD375AFD506.jpg

After you clear the first world of beginner puzzles, you'll unlock not only other Mario levels, but an entire section of Wario levels as well. Mario's stages are welcoming; they have hints, the game tells you when you make a mistake, and you have a timer counting down that goes faster with every mistake. In the Wario levels, the player is left to their own devices. This is for the experienced Picross player, who doesn't need hints, and has to solve puzzles with their own logic--the game won't help you anymore. These levels, while difficult, are fun challenges for skilled players. It also brings the game's puzzle count to just under 300, which is a staggering amount.

Picross has since seen many iterations and Nintendo-branded variations in the more than two decades since Mario’s Super Picross originally released. There have been entries on the DS that have touch-screen support, or Pokemon-themed releases on the 3DS, but their core gameplay always remains accessible and fun. Whether you like to play on the TV, or on the go, it’s a fantastic addition to the Nintendo Switch Online library, and is absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.



TAGS: [GAME=/game/marios-super-picross.80174]Mario's Super Picross[/GAME]
 

mightymuffy

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This game has been my favorite SNES "hidden gem" for a bit, and I'm glad it's finally getting some recognition. I just hope that recognition doesn't shoot up the prices of carts before I can import again, lol

But absolutely, anyone who likes the SNES version should also check out the couple that came out on GameBoy, as well as the unreleased Pokemon Picross, if you can get your hands on any of them

It is 'free' for Switch online members though, hence the Temp giving it a bit of recognition. Fully deserved though! (is this the one that has a picture of a dog pissing against a lamppost?! Made me laff!) Fully agreed on the GB game, released around the same time if I remember - if anything that game is even better! Not agreed with whoever mentioned Picmi though - OK as a freebie, but just doesn't feel right compared to the Nintendo published ones (same goes for the myriad of ad-ridden mobile phone games)
And to whoever said if Picross 3D counts - no it fukkin doesn't, but that's also a great game!
 

Worldblender

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Not agreed with whoever mentioned Picmi though - OK as a freebie, but just doesn't feel right compared to the Nintendo published ones (same goes for the myriad of ad-ridden mobile phone games)
I was the one who mentioned Picmi in an earlier post. Can you explain to me which part(s) don't feel right compared to the Nintendo versions? I'm sure that they could all be fixed by code and/or assets, but part of that is due to me striving to avoid proprietary software if there are decent FOSS alternatives.
 

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I'm all in for foss and open source, but I have to give it to Nintendo for their UX work is almost always impeccable. Piccross 3D and 3D 2 were amazing.
 
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This review sparked me to see if there exists a free/open-source alternative, even if under a different name, and I did find one. Hooray! :toot: The particular one I found is Picmi, one of the various KDE games (but this desktop environment is not required). It normally can be installed on most Linux distros (and maybe Windows, since some KDE programs have received Windows ports) The screenshot below should be similar enough to the games presented in this review, but without the problems associated with console exclusives, and to a larger extent, proprietary software in general. Better yet, it's also 100% free as in cost; no need to pay for a console, online subscription, or separate download.
picmi.png
and then there's picross touch on steam that is free and has online sharing of puzzles for other people to play.
 

gamesquest1

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I remember as a kid finding a NEW Mario game in the local market and rushing home all excited to play it with the universal adapter only to be presented with....this.....I was more than a bit disappointed and didn't appreciate it, but now im kinda keen on the odd game of picross (even the little Easter egg version hidden in the android build screen), but as a kid I was very upset that it wasn't some super brand new Mario game that was only released in japan
 
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mightymuffy

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I was the one who mentioned Picmi in an earlier post. Can you explain to me which part(s) don't feel right compared to the Nintendo versions? I'm sure that they could all be fixed by code and/or assets, but part of that is due to me striving to avoid proprietary software if there are decent FOSS alternatives.
There's no real answer to this, hence the italics used when I mentioned 'feels' - it's similar to when certain people slag off emulators, refusing to play them on anything other than the real thing.... Picmi does everything right, but like the Android games, like the Sunsoft published games on PS1 etc, like even the Switch 3rd party games, Picross just feels, sorry, feels better when Nintendo does it (even though many of those games are actually made by Bullet Proof Software! :lol:)
 

Dust2dust

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...Picross just feels, sorry, feels better when Nintendo does it (even though many of those games are actually made by Bullet Proof Software! :lol:)
Actually, they are made by Jupiter. Amazing quality designer. I'm always looking forward to their next release. Picross S5 is just around the corner now. :grog: I'm addicted to mega-picross now. Regular picross almost seems too easy.
 

mightymuffy

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Actually, they are made by Jupiter. Amazing quality designer. I'm always looking forward to their next release. Picross S5 is just around the corner now. :grog: I'm addicted to mega-picross now. Regular picross almost seems too easy.
Ouch, you're right! BPS did Tetris games - senior moment there muffy!! :lol::blush:
 

zxr750j

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I also played Kemono Friends Picross, I guess you can call the drawings you uncover "very Japanese", I even got a bit prudish when I saw some of those characters in their beastly short outfits...
 

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I also played Kemono Friends Picross, I guess you can call the drawings you uncover "very Japanese", I even got a bit prudish when I saw some of those characters in their beastly short outfits...
It made me smile everytime I solved those and saw the character. Cute artwork, but overall a pretty easy Picross game to finish. Looking forward to more Jupiter side projects Picross games.
 

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I was the one who mentioned Picmi in an earlier post. Can you explain to me which part(s) don't feel right compared to the Nintendo versions? I'm sure that they could all be fixed by code and/or assets, but part of that is due to me striving to avoid proprietary software if there are decent FOSS alternatives.
For me it's presentation, honestly - I like the concept of FOSS games, and some of them (OpenTTD, Neverball) are fantastic, but too often they look like unpolished jank made by several random people who don't have a good feel for visual design (which is exactly what it is in majority of cases). Picmi suffers from the same problem, and even during my short-ish Linux stay I emulated Nintendo versions instead.
 

FAST6191

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For me it's presentation, honestly - I like the concept of FOSS games, and some of them (OpenTTD, Neverball) are fantastic, but too often they look like unpolished jank made by several random people who don't have a good feel for visual design (which is exactly what it is in majority of cases). Picmi suffers from the same problem, and even during my short-ish Linux stay I emulated Nintendo versions instead.
I believe the phrase you are looking for is "programmer art".
 

SaulFabre

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Many of us find ourselves holed up in their homes, whether it’s because the weather is starting to turn cold, or worldwide circumstances dictate that staying inside is for the best. Fortunately, inside is a great place to play video games, be it new or old. So, for those that have never heard of the name, or for those who have long since become acquainted with the game, let’s take some of our free time to look at the new-old Mario’s Super Picross in the latest issue of GBAtemp Recommends.

Mario’s Picross is hardly a new game, having been released for the original Game Boy all the way back in 1995. However, its sequel--released in Japan that same year--Mario’s Super Picross has only just managed to make its way Stateside this September, 25 years later. Having only heard the term Picross in passing, being vaguely curious about what exactly it was, combined with the boredom of what was available in the Nintendo Switch Online SNES library, I decided to try Mario’s Super Picross on a whim.

And it was entirely worth the two hours I unknowingly spent, hooked on solving little number puzzles of varying difficulty.

It should be noted that Mario’s Super Picross is untranslated and entirely in Japanese, but fortunately, the rules of Picross are simple to understand, and require no knowledge of any language in order to figure them out. There is an odd prompt you will get at the start of each puzzle, but it’s a simple question asking you whether you’d like a hint to start your puzzle-solving off with. Once you figure out which of the Japanese characters mean “yes” and “no”, you’ll effectively have mentally translated all the words present in Mario’s Super Picross. Easy!


The game is packed to the brim with puzzles of varying difficulties, starting with tiny 5x5 grid levels, and eventually advancing up to far more complex 25x20 puzzles. The early levels let you learn the rules to Picross without throwing you in the deep end, constantly introducing you to new tricks that you’ll need to learn in order to solve the more challenging puzzles that you’ll run into later on.

There’s something downright charming about the aesthetic of Mario’s Super Picross. For whatever reason, Mario is clad in full archaeologist gear, and you, the player, are using a hammer and chisel to carve out each spot on the stone-tablet Picross board. It doesn’t really make sense, but it honestly doesn’t have to--it’s got style enough to make it stand out, all the same. However, it is slightly disappointing that despite having Mario slapped onto the box and title of the game, the puzzles aren’t Super Mario or even Nintendo themed. Most of the puzzle solutions are either kanji symbols, or random objects, like a dolphin, dinosaur, or cat. A lot of them are very Japanese as well, with later levels having you solve puzzle outlines that look like an ancient samurai “Kabuto” helmet, a Daruma doll, Mount Fuji, and more.


After you clear the first world of beginner puzzles, you'll unlock not only other Mario levels, but an entire section of Wario levels as well. Mario's stages are welcoming; they have hints, the game tells you when you make a mistake, and you have a timer counting down that goes faster with every mistake. In the Wario levels, the player is left to their own devices. This is for the experienced Picross player, who doesn't need hints, and has to solve puzzles with their own logic--the game won't help you anymore. These levels, while difficult, are fun challenges for skilled players. It also brings the game's puzzle count to just under 300, which is a staggering amount.

Picross has since seen many iterations and Nintendo-branded variations in the more than two decades since Mario’s Super Picross originally released. There have been entries on the DS that have touch-screen support, or Pokemon-themed releases on the 3DS, but their core gameplay always remains accessible and fun. Whether you like to play on the TV, or on the go, it’s a fantastic addition to the Nintendo Switch Online library, and is absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.

Yeah nice game the Mario Super Picross but it was only released in Japan for Super Famicom but it was released also on Europe (sadly, not in USA) but on Wii Virtual Console. But since the game wasn't released in USA on VC, i will have to inject it. (because I can make custom VC games for Wii xD)
 
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