Picross 3D is a brilliantly designed puzzle game. It executes a great idea, the 3D Picross, perfectly. What is a picross? Well, We’ve all heard the one about how to sculpt an elephant, right? You start with a block of marble and chip off everything that isn’t an elephant. Picross 3D is a collection of simple logic puzzles based around figuring out what isn’t an elephant.
A puzzle might take 5-10 minutes, but it will feel like 30 seconds. I sat down to play this game last night, and 15 minutes later I discovered that 3 and a half hours had passed. It feels so good to chip away at these puzzles and it is so easy to say “just one more.” Did you see that shitty episode of Next Gen where Wesley Crusher and Ashley Judd had to save the enterprise from an evil video game? I bet the evil game they were playing felt like Picross 3D.
I feel really good when I’m playing Picross. However, when I’m done playing, I feel really empty inside. Hours have passed and I have absolutely nothing to show for it other than spent sand from the hourglass of life. It was fun but utterly hollow.
Is a hollow game worth playing? For that matter, is there any real difference between a solving a picross puzzle, and solving a Zelda dungeon? Or solving the puzzle of how to time my jumps in Mario or solving the puzzle of which gun to shoot the enemy with in Halo? Am I fooling myself when I say that video games are an enriching pastime?
Really, when you get right down to it, isn’t everything that I do merely passing time as I attempt to distract myself from an inevitable death that will claim my life as it claims all life? I will eventually cease to be, and so will everyone I have ever known. There will be no memory left of anything I have ever done. It will be as if it never happened, so how can Picross be more or less hollow than any other activity? In the end, all that will remain is this blog, captured by the Internet Wayback Machine, viewed by no one, until one day it too goes offline.
Picross 3D is kind of a bummer.