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Picross Luna: Hidden Pictures With A Story To Tell [Review]

Mobile games are a great way to take a break or not be bored on your commute. Mobile brain teasers are even better. I’ve always enjoyed puzzles of all sorts – riddles, crosswords, and especially nonograms. They are a very relaxing activity, and I was happy to discover that App Store had a great nonogram game called Picross Luna that’s been my lunch break companion ever since we all started working remotely.

A celebration of logic, fairytales, and whimsy

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. That’s what nonogram or picross puzzles are all about – finding a hidden picture by coloring cells in a grid according to numbers. The numbers on the side of each column and row of the puzzle represent how many blocks you should tap in that row or column to reveal parts of the picture. Usually, the puzzles are 5×5, 10×10, 15×15, or 20×20, although you can find some bigger ones too.

Picross Luna – a free game for iOS and Android – offers just that. It conceals a magical story revealed to you as you progress with each puzzle. There’s a beautiful princess with a kingdom, a sweetheart, and of course, an evil wizard. Spoiler alert – this story DOES have a happy ending! Until you download Picross Luna II, that is.

Picross Luna ending

Ther are two ways to play this game. Normal mode lets you complete a series of puzzles unrelated to the story to practice. Meanwhile, Big mode goes straight to the story. With both options, you get a limited number of “lives” and hints for each puzzle, depending on the level of difficulty.

For instance, for a 5×5 picture, you get two hints and can only press the wrong square three times before you have to restart the game. For a 20×20 one, you get eight lives and five hints. This can be a bit tricky to get to grips with at first, as controls here are very sensitive. But it does force you to pay attention. It also tells you when you’ve completed a block (number of cells in a certain row or column) correctly right away. That’s a big reason why I prefer this game over Picross Galaxy – another mobile nonogram game.

The kitschy graphics and the soft melody are an important part of the puzzle. As I like my puzzles to be aesthetically pleasing, Picross Luna’s gorgeous visuals and color schemes are a plus in my book. I didn’t even mind the rather lengthy intro one bit – pretty castles, sparkling stars, and vines work well within the story. If to you, relaxing means combining brain teasers with cutesy things, you’ve come to the right place for sure. I completed 416 non-story puzzles

The instructions are quite specific, and you have to get used to it. But I’ve had no problem understanding the essence of it.

However, most free mobile games have their drawback with ads. Picross Luna is no exception. The ads are quite pesky and make an appearance almost every time after you solve a puzzle. But they disappear after you solve 90% of the puzzles.

I’m glad there’s a sequel to this game with Picross Luna II, with its graphics just as stunning and sleek. But go ahead and whet your appetite with Picross Luna with its visuals and simple storyline. It sure did for me.


YouTube: The Best Free Picross Game Has a Plot Line | Good Cheap Games

Photo credits: The feature image is a collage of screenshots that have been taken by Danielle Ordonez for TechAcute. All other images have been taken by the author for TechAcute.
Source: Brian Gilbert (Polygon)

Kate Sukhanova
Kate Sukhanova
I’m a writer with a keen interest in digital technology and traveling. If I get to write about those two things at the same time, I’m the happiest person in the room. When I’m not scrolling through newsfeeds, traveling, or writing about it, I enjoy reading mystery novels, hanging out with my cat, and running my charity shop.