A new dimension has opened up in my mind, and it’s consuming everything I once knew. An entire spectrum is threatening the comfort zone of certainty that regular Picross has spent years establishing. There are no breaks anymore, no stops, only different colours. The road doesn’t end, it only changes. A simple yes or no question has now become an open essay. Life will never be the same.
Color Picross was first introduced in Picross S3 on the Switch, but I personally skipped that one so I’m just discovering it now in S4. Why did nobody tell me how essential this was? I can only speculate that everyone who played Color Picross in S3 has ascended to a higher level of being by now. They’ve simply understood that with so much to explore in your own mind, the material world is obsolete. More likely, they did praise Color Picross, but I wasn’t listening from my monotone world. I have now been awakened.
The word is spelled colour in my country with a U, but I’m just using the correct title in the game. This game is so meta and game-changing, that I think it deserves to hang on to its name. The spelling of words in different languages is allowed, now that we can fill in blocks with different colours. I have chosen to provide different spellings of Color and Colour based on context. Just like how this fan can blow more than your mind.
“Alright hippy. How does it work, what’s different about it? Isn’t it just the same thing with more colours? Sounds like a scam to me aye bruv!”
Not even close mate. In regular Picross, everything has a space between it. It’s not a game that even considers the colour spectrum as part of the equation. That word, equation, is exactly what regular is. A numbers game. You can count along a line and know for sure where something will go. You’re putting one single thing inside every box, the challenge is just getting the right boxes. Now suddenly, you have another step of deciding what to put in the box. It challenges your perception and purpose. Why are you doing this? Are you running towards something, or away from it?
With the new layer of colours we have new methods of deducting outcomes. The fact that the game’s hint system had to come up with new mechanics, shows how much depth there is to this. In the pic above you can see which square can and can’t have a red, due to where the other colours have to be. It introduces several different process of elimination that can co-exist. Unlike regular Picross, you rarely have a “eureka” moment where everything makes sense at once. You celebrate a single completed square as an important milestone.
After all of this, I still can’t tell you if Color Picross is better or worse than classic Picross. It’s definitely more challenging and stimulating, but has also taken some of the mindful relaxation out of Picross. It’s like studying classical music when you just want to play Country Roads at the end of the day. It is important that both exist, and that artforms are pushed, mindsets are meant to be challenged and expanded. Happiness comes from a stimulated mind and not a stagnant one. You’ve got regular Picross to unwind, and Color Picross to expand. If you’re ever wondering if there’s more to life, Color Picross just might be what you need. Not drugs, alcohol, or sugar, something that gets some real colour into your mind.