Hundreds of Picross mobile game applications exist on Google Play and the App Store.To me, a good Picross game has relaxing music, a good story, and a range of puzzle complexities. Here’s my top three of the several Picross games I’ve tried.
New to Picross? Here’s a Quick Summary
Picross, also called Nonograms, is a grid-based puzzle game that uses deductive reasoning and logic to complete. Numbers located at each axis indicate the number of squares that exist in the row. Upon filling in the correct square positions, the result is a pixel image.
Some Picross Applications break more complex pixel images down to multiple picross games, so you may have to complete 4 or 20 or more to see the full picture. I will refer to these as big-picture puzzles.
For 5×5, 10×10, and 15×15 puzzles, a cell phone screen is sufficient. As you reach 20×20 and 30×30 puzzles, the small phone screen can become problematic. If you’re playing on a tablet, these games are much better.
#3 Picross Luna
PicrossLuna: The Forgotten Tale is a soothing and beautiful free picross app by Floralmong. It has a muted color pallet, relaxing music, whimsical art style, a fantastical story, and a variation of puzzle complexities. It also has pages of individual puzzles and large, complex big-picture puzzles. The overall aesthetic is dream-like, albeit a bit plain.
Some of the big-picture puzzles are enormous, and I felt a sizeable sense of accomplishment upon finishing a single one. Once you complete the big picture, pages are added to the book icon at the top of the screen. As far as the story goes, it’s a semi-generic fantasy tale. A prince and princess fall in love, an evil sorcerer curses them, and so on.
One of the nice things about PicrossLuna is the ability to go ad-free at no charge. To unlock this, you have to solve 90% of the puzzles. It seems too little too late, but if you end up finishing the game to see the full story, it’s a nice bonus other Picross games don’t have.
PicrossLuna has a sequel, PicrossLuna 2: Six Pieces of Tears. The gradient in the background makes it harder to see the squares. I made it only a few puzzles in before the clashing pastels hurt my eyes.
However, as you progress through this story, this circular artwork on the entry page fills in with color. It’s a nice touch.
If you are looking for a really long game with a sequel to carry on the aesthetic, PicrossLuna may be for you.
#2 Two Eyes
Two Eyes is a free picross game by GAMEFOX that focuses around a sweet love story from dual perspectives. Like PicrossLuna, Two Eyes has a whimsical art style, a relaxing sound track, a single-puzzle mode, a big picture mode, and a story that ties it altogether. I find the music in Two Eyes more pleasant than PicrossLuna, and the watercolor artwork is a beautiful step up for the visual element of the game.
The story is sweet and serene – a wolf corners a deer who accepts its fate, but the two realize fate has more in store for them. As you complete each element of the story, the artwork on the home screen changes.
In Two Eyes, after the completing any puzzle, it doesn’t throw you back to the full map again like the other two on this list. Simply press next and it whisks you to the next one. No interruption, just puzzle after puzzle bliss. This is true in both the individual puzzles as well as the big picture puzzles.
A step up from PicrossLuna, Two Eyes features both modes on the home screen – a quality of life upgrade I didn’t realize I wanted until I had it. The game is split into two sides of the story, the deer and the wolf, making it feel like two games in one.
PicrossMon is a unique and fun picross game also from GAMEFOX. It veers away from the dream-like aesthetic of the previous two. The music is more upbeat and the art style has a hand-drawn quality in black and white with pops of color for important items.
PicrossMon has both a single-puzzle mode and a big-picture story mode like the previous two. The story involves a lost child and an outcast monster finding each other and becoming best friends. Unlike PicrossLuna, the big-story puzzles are much smaller, and the sense of progression is more tangible because of it.
Like Two Eyes, this app has a central hub on the main screen for both paths. Also on the main screen are books you can use to review your progress and the story. Which brings me to my favorite aspect of this game that puts it at number one for me.
In the single-puzzle mode, two puzzles per screen are unique monsters. Once you’ve done a few screens, the locations of the monsters are predictable. I went through and completed all the monsters first. Two reasons. 1- Each completed monster is collected in a book on the shelf. 2- the monster puzzles are more fun than the others. The color composition and outlining is the same for all monster puzzles, and it’s possible to complete the puzzles without looking at the numbers. This creates a fun challenge when filling in 10×10 puzzles is so easy you can do them in your sleep.
If you’re looking for a relaxing, whimsical, dream-like Picross app to wind down your night before bed, definitely pick PicrossLuna or Two Eyes. If you love the art style and odd-ball nature of PicrossMon, that’s the one I recommend the most. Please, GAMEFOX, give me more individual monster puzzles!
I’ve played quite a few, but there’s so many more, it’s impossible to play them all. What are your favorite Picross app games? Let me know in the comments below.