Block-a-Pix Deluxe review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, Switch
Publisher: Lightwood Games
Developer: Lightwood Games/Conceptis
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

As much as I enjoy Lightwood Games? Pic-a-Pix games — and I certainly enjoy them a whole lot, perhaps to an unhealthy degree — I have to confess that going into Block-a-Pix Deluxe I was feeling a little fatigued by the whole picross formula. While Pic-a-Pix Classic and Pic-a-Pix Pieces differed a little from last year?s Pic-a-Pix Color, on the whole they were still basically the same — and playing them obsessively across multiple platforms probably didn?t help.

You can imagine how pleased I was to discover that Block-a-Pix Deluxe changes things up a little. While you?re still filling in a grid to reveal a picture, Block-a-Pix owes at least as much of a debt to Minesweeper and jigsaw puzzles as it does to picross games. Rather than figuring out patterns based on the X-Y axes, here numbers are placed around the board and you have to figure how to place quadrilaterals of various sizes that touch each number. Each board plays around with the associated colours, and you eventually reveal some neat-looking pixelated pictures.

Is it as hard as the Pic-a-Pix games? Not really…but it also is. On the one hand, it requires far less logic. You?re not keeping track of how to fit everything in along the horizontal and vertical lines. At the same time, though, it?s challenging in the same way that a jigsaw puzzle is challenging: sure, it?s pretty easy at first when you?re only talking about small puzzles, but as the grids get larger and larger, you eventually reach a point where the puzzles can take you a pretty solid chunk of time to complete.

This, I?ll admit, is the one area where I have a bit of a problem with Block-a-Pix Deluxe. When the puzzles reach a certain size, it becomes a bit of a challenge — and not in a good way — to navigate the grid. I wouldn?t say that it negated my enjoyment of the game or anything, but it did lead to the occasional moment of frustration.

On the whole, though, that frustration pales in comparison to the overall pleasure I got from the game. The year is still early, but I have no doubt that whenever my PlayStation 2019 Year in Review comes out, I?ll find that — much like Pic-a-Pix Colours last year — Block-a-Pix Deluxe is going to be right up near the top of my list in terms of how much time I spent playing it. It?s not groundbreaking, but it?s a lot of fun, and that?s all that matters to me.

Lightwood Games provided us with a Block-a-Pix Deluxe PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: A