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Mario's Picross

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Reviewed by Jason Widenhofer Mario's Picross is not similar to any game that I know of. It is unique in that it is not another "Tetris Clone" for Game Boy. In the game, you have to chisel blocks in order to reveal a secret picture. The pictures range from things as easy as the letter "T", to as difficult as a pair of scissors or a sea lion. Numbers located on the outside of the playing field tell you how many blocks you have to chisel in the row or column that they are in, but not where or how many spaces are between them. During this time, a clock is ticking down from 30 minutes to nothing. For the first time that you make a mistake, you lose 2 minutes the second time: 4 minutes. Each mistake you make from there on subtracts 8 minutes from your time limit. Seems easy? I don't think so.

Graphics 8.5 out of 10

The graphics for this game are fairly simple. But they are good. It is easy to make out the numbers outside of the playing field, and Mario's face is clear (I bet you're asking yourself "Mario?" What does he do in the game? I thought that you controlled a chisel. . . and so on. Well, Mario's face sits in the corner. It smiles, and it holds the clock. Why would this game be called "Mario's Picross" if he wasn't in it?). However, the graphics for this game are so simple that they don't even compare to Donkey Kong Land's graphics (which is another game for Game Boy).

Music and Sound 7 out of 10

This game has only five songs in it. Of the five songs, I only think that three of them are good. The other two can put a person to sleep in 20 seconds. The music can be changed at any time by accessing a menu and picking the number of the song that you want.

Game Play-Fun 8 out of 10

If you don't understand how to play this game after reading the instruction booklet and watching the tutorial on the game, you probably won't do good at the game and won't enjoy it. However, there are some people out there who easily grasp onto the concept of the game and enjoy solving each puzzle one after another. It is hard for most people to sit down for a long time and exhilarate themselves by playing one round after another. But I can do that and I know that others can too.


It is easy to get very frustrated at this game. If you make one mistake, this annoying beeping sound comes through the speakers and scares you to death. You become afraid that you time will run out. Most people will make mistakes very often and keep having to play the same round over and over again to progress to the next level. I know that I had difficulties when I first purchased the game and I know that you will, too.

Replayability 10 out of 10

You can always take this game out of your drawer or whatever and play it again. You usually cannot remember which puzzles are which and can't remember which blocks you have to chisel again. There are about 200 puzzles in all, and it is very easy to forget which one is which. In fact, just last night, I pulled this very game out of my drawer and played several levels that I had won before.

Game Value 7 out of 10

Most people will expect more from this game than what they paid for. They know the concept of the game, but there just isn't that much variation between the levels. Each level, one after another is basically the same. The only difference is the size. The first levels are 5x5 squares. Then there are 10x10 squares, and finally 15x15 squares.

Overall 8.4 out of 10

Overall, this is a pretty good game. I liked playing all of the levels, but I hated it when I made mistakes. Sometimes I got very bored listening to the music, but I still enjoyed the level. This is a good game to buy if you enjoy solving puzzles one after another. There is a saving capability if you don't want to solve them all at one time (which I recommend you don't).

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