Review – Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition

Kids, stay away from picross. This crap is more addictive than crack. I started playing it at the beginning of this year while casually vaulting through Nintendo’s mediocre-at-best Super Nintendo online catalogue, and fell in love with it to the point of forgetting about doing anything else. I even got to play a Hatsune Miku-themed picross game, only to find out it was as good as any other offering by Nintendo or Jupiter, the developers behind the ten trillion Picross S games available on the eShop. Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition is their latest offering, bringing a more than welcome Sega coat of paint to this addictive nonogram-based gameplay loop.

Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition Touchscreen

This is the kind of game that’s begging for touchscreen controls, which are criminally absent.

Just like with any other picross game released by Jupiter, Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition cuts to the chase without any kind of fanfare: it’s a collection full of different kinds of nonogram-based puzzles, with all of their designs stemming from classic Sega Master System and Mega Drive (yes, that’s the name you should all be using) games, like Alex Kidd, Streets of Rage, Puyo Puyo, and, of course, good old Sonic. No campaigns, not a lot of extras, not much in terms of progression. Pick a puzzle out of literal hundreds of them, solve them, do another one, and forget about what’s happening outside.

Picross S Alex Kidd

I love Color Picross puzzles. Too bad there aren’t many of them in this collection.

Besides the classic picross puzzles, Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition features three more variations. Color Picross has you filling out squares with a handful of different colors. It’s very unique, as you have to pay double attention to the numbers around the screen, and the fact that blank spaces might not show up in between colored clues. Mega Picross is a confusing and disappointing take on normal picross, which uses a sum of two lines or columns to confuse players. Sadly, the designs are the exact ones from normal picross, meaning that, if you have a good memory, you won’t even bother deciphering these puzzles. Finally, Clip Picross is a huge image split in smaller chunks that are unlocked the more you complete normal puzzles.

Sadly, with the exception of these designs and the inclusion of four classic Sega tunes, including the theme songs for Space Harrier and Alex Kidd, that’s all the Sega-ism you’re getting in this collection. What could have been a bigger love letter to the company, with more tunes and animated Color Picross puzzles, hasn’t been included in here. Either this was just a rushed job or just an assembly line product created in a month or so in order to satiate us picross addicts until the next one comes out the next month or two.


Gee, I wonder what this picture might be.

Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition is more picross, and that will never, ever be a bad thing. Although, considering the vault of goodies Jupiter was allowed with play with, I expected a bit more from it. The amazing Color Picross puzzles are few and far between, and the fact that normal and Mega picross puzzles share the same images is a disappointment. Not to mention the fact that there are literally four tunes in the entire collection! This is less of a love letter to Sega and more of a skin deep collection of Sega-esque nonograms, so don’t expect fanservice in here. Expect just a ton of fun picross puzzles to solve and keep your addiction in check.


Graphics: 7.0

There isn’t a lot you can do with a picross game in terms of visuals, but at the very least, the puzzles in this game are well-designed, resembling the characters and items they’re based on.

Gameplay: 8.5

This game’s UI and controls would have profited a lot had the developers included touchscreen controls. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Not to mention the fact that Mega Picross is beyond confusing.

Sound: 6.0

I love the fact that the soundtrack is comprised of classic Sega tunes. I don’t like the fact the game only includes like four of them.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Some of its puzzles are very underwhelming (namely the Mega Picross ones), but Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition is yet another collection of ultra-addictive nonograms with a modest (and skin-deep) retro coat of paint.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.