At long last, touchscreen support comes to Picross S.
At this point, I’ve reviewed a half-dozen Jupiter-made Picross games on Switch. In likely every single one, I’ve pointed out how the lack of touchscreen controls is disappointing. With the release of Picross S7 on Switch (in December 2021 or January 2022, depending on your region), that changes. With that glaring omission rectified, this is easily the best of Jupiter’s Picross S output.
If you’re new to the Picross scene, these games are a collection of nonogram puzzles where you use numerical clues on a grid to figure out where to shade in tiles. At puzzle completion, you unlock a pixelated rendition of an object. If this isn’t clear in my attempt to succinctly explain it, Picross S7 has the same good tutorials that all recent Jupiter-made Picross games have had. If you’re the kind of person like me who has played these games rapturously since the 3DS, you can easily skip these tutorials. While the overall format hasn’t changed in the past few entries, it’s hard to argue with a steady onslaught of well-designed puzzles split into a few different styles. You have 300 traditional Picross and Mega Picross puzzles, 150 Clip Picross puzzles, 30 Color Picross puzzles, and five extra puzzles (some only unlocked with save data from Picross S4, S5, and S6). This is what’s to be expected from Picross S games and while it might not be that thrilling, it’s still great.
Touchscreen support comes in two forms: Touch Hold and Touch Toggle. Touch Hold makes it so the touchscreen only works when holding a button or stick, while Touch Toggle makes it toggled on and off when you touch a button or stick. I found myself preferring Toggle, it works very well in spite of not being as elegant as it was on DS and 3DS due to the form factor and lack of a built-in stylus. Larger puzzles are a little harder depending on the size of your fingers, but switching between filling in a square or crossing it out is simple and easy. It’s also functional for left-handed folks (like me) as well.
After all these years, I’m still a zealot for the Picross S (and its predecessors) even if innovation and evolution is slow paced. Seeing touchscreen support added after more than four years of Switch releases is great to see, and hopefully more upgrades and updates will come to Picross S8 and more in the future. Until then, here’s almost 500 new puzzles that are at the same solid level of execution as the thousands Jupiter has made in the past.