Developer: Mark Brown
Price: Free ($0.99 puzzle unlocks available)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Playtime: Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I suppose a sign that a game is really good is when I lose all track of time; just constantly diving back in, ignoring all other responsibilities, just playing the game again and again until there’s no more game to play. That’s Pixel This! by Mark Brown , a game he created because “Most of the Picross apps on iOS kind of suck, so I made a better one.”

Well, he succeeded.

PixelThis-7PixelThis-6(Full Disclosure: Mark Brown is a writer who writes for Pocket Gamer, a site that is also owned by our parent company Steel Media, though neither Steel Media nor Pocket Gamer had any say in the promotion of the game nor influenced the selection of this game for coverage and did not effect the editorial content of this review. He tweeted about the game, I played it, and deemed it worthy of review, as has happened with other developers of games I follow on Twitter who don’t work for Steel Media.)

Picross (a.k.a Nonograms), for those unfamiliar with it, is a game where players must fill in squares on a grid that form a picture based on hints of how many squares are in each row or column. For example, a column that says that it has “5 2″ squares in it means there’s 5 consecutive squares above 2 consecutive squares. Where exactly they are in the column is unclear, and the clues provided by other lines with the spots that are guaranteed to be filled in or not must be used to figure out how other rows or columns are meant to be filled in.

Pixel This has a great, clean look to it: the use of pixel art is a natural fit, and it gives it a timeless look. The controls work very well, with the ability to easily slide across rows when filling them in with squares or Xs. While on the iPhone and the zoomed-out view the occasional mis-touch will happen, but the zoomed-in view does help out. It’s a great iPad game as well.

PixelThis-5PixelThis-4This winds up being a great Picross game for casual audiences and those new to the game as the puzzles never get more complex than 10×10. There’s plenty of easy puzzles to get acclimated to, and even just little touches in the interface make it easy to play. When a row or column is complete, it’s grayed out so as to indicate that it is actually done. Running over a line with the X marks won’t overwrite any completed squares. It’s just a user-friendly Nonogram game.

The game is free to download and play the first 60 puzzles, with new sets of 20 puzzles each costing $0.99 – like the hungry hungry hippo, I gobbled them all up in rapid fashion and thus would love more puzzles, especially if they contained 15×15 or larger grids. I’m ready for a challenge! The game lacks any music, so put on some classy tunes to solve puzzles to. Or, enjoy the sounds of silence.

I suppose the highest praise that I can level on Pixel This! is that after buying all three puzzle packs and beating them, I went out and tried to find another Nonogram game to satisfy my sudden hunger for more Nonograms. I fear that it cannot be sated. Send help.

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