- Developer: Crypton Future Media
- Publisher: Crypton Future Media
- Release date: 18/03/2021
- Price: £10.00 / $14.00
- Review code self provided
Introducing: Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S Review
Before I dive into my review of Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S, let me get something out of the way. I LOVE picross. To know just how much I love it, you need only look at my 2020 year in review where I decided that it was picross that defined my quarantine since I binged through so many of them. As a result, I’ve gotten to know the picross game landscape pretty intimately. I have my favorites, of course, but I am always open to new titles to bring me a little puzzling joy as I wind down for the night. So, when I saw that there was a Hatsune Miku picross game coming to the Switch, of course I had to try it.
Po Pi Po
Now, I’ll admit that I am not all the familiar with Miku. I know that’s a strange thing to say since I just picked up her picross game the day it came out, but it’s true. Despite being really into anime and manga in middle and high school, Miku was something that I was always aware of as anime-adjacent, but I had never gotten into vocaloids at all. I knew that they were a digital singing program for making music with these characters to put faces to the voices, but that’s about it. However, I always had an eye on them, not because of the music, but because of the character design. There was just always something so striking about the artwork that drew my attention when I would come across it.
I guess this is my long winded way of saying that if you’re like me and don’t know anything about vocaloids, you don’t need to worry. There’s no story or anything like that here and you can just solve puzzles to your heart’s content and for Miku’s approval. There’s some unlockable content that we’ll get into later, but this honestly a straightforward picross game without any story. It’s more of a Picross S4 than a Murder by Numbers, which means that we have to judge this more for it’s gameplay and goodies than any story that it is trying to tell.
The picross gameplay is the typical select a puzzle and solve it format. Which means that if you’re a veteran of these sorts of puzzles, you can just jump right over all the ones that seem too easy. Maybe you want to start with the 15×15 puzzles instead of the 10×10 ones. However, you’re not going to unlock everything that way because each of the puzzles unlocks an art piece to go with them in some way. Solve a picture of a snowman? Get a cute image of Miku or one of the other four featured vocaloids that has a snowman somewhere in it.
The artwork is all cute and while I wouldn’t say that it was huge motivator for getting everything solved, it certainly didn’t hurt to get as a treat after solving a particularly difficult puzzle. Where the artwork was more motivating were the special puzzles, where you solve small pieces of an image that eventually reveals itself as a full picture. These are great not only for the satisfaction of gradually making something large, but also for the way that the images can be much more esoteric and strange compared to the ones that have to make a picture at the end.
After doing a little research it seems that this game is, at least in part, a re-release of the mobile game MikuLogi. I didn’t pick MikuLogi up since it is a paid app game and I already have this one, so I can’t confirm or deny how much of the content is exactly the same. However, I can attest that there is a lot of content here which I think justifies the price, especially since it’s not even breaking the $20 mark. Additionally, looking at reviews on the app, it seems that several people are having trouble with the game losing memory of their progress when they close it, so it might be worth the investment in the Switch version purely for the security of your progress.
World is Mine
Each puzzle has three stars to collect in the process of solving it, which can be used to unlock things like music tracks. All of which I admit I didn’t recognize, but I did find some of them to be rather fun. The ability to change up background music was awesome. You get one star for simply completing the puzzle, which is a normal enough goal. The second star is for solving the puzzle without using the optional hint that the game can offer you. The third one is the one I have a problem with, though. The third star is awarded for solving the puzzle without any mistakes. This means not putting down any filled squares where the square is supposed to be blank (or have an x to mark it blank).
Because of this goal, Any time that you make a mistake and fill in a square like that, the game will give an audio cue and mark it as an X instead in a different color than the Xs that you make. There is no option to turn this off so I never feel that I can make any mistakes which I might have to go back and fix later. This get out of jail free card makes things feel too easy since I could just use it to figure things out if I was stuck at only the loss of one star. There’s no need to bother with any hints if the game gives you a free hint any time you screw up. There’s no reason to get below two stars on every level. Not to mention, you lose that third star even if it was just a mispressed button.
Another option that you can’t turn off is the way that the game will automatically fill in the blank spaces on a row or column with Xs when you fill in all the spaces meant to be filled. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it’s something that I am not used to in picross games as it is another thing that makes the puzzles a touch easier. There are other games that have it, but usually it is an option that can be turned off. I can see why some people might like having this feature, but it’s not for me. The inability to even just turn it off was disappointing.
The graphic design here was really charming with the menu laid out like it was a bedroom that you were hanging out in. Very cozy. The artwork that you get to see for solving puzzles is also very nice. There’s a variety of different art styles and subjects to the art. I’m not going to spend all day looking through the gallery or anything, but it’s still a nice touch. Puzzle layout is crisp, clean and easy to navigate. Just the way I like it! Having puzzle sizes segmented into difficulty was greatly appreciated since it cuts down on the time to get to where I need to go if I don’t have to scroll through pages of easy puzzles to get to hard ones I am working on at the moment.
I can’t review Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S without talking about the music. As mentioned earlier that there is unlockable music and I think that’s a great touch as well, allowing anyone who is a fan to select what pieces they would like to hear on loop. I can’t speak for how many of the more iconic songs are included, but there’s a decent variety and many have instrumental versions as well if you don’t want to have to listen to the lyrics on loop but like the melody of the song.
The one problem that I have is that it is not easily apparent that you can set the music. You unlock the background music in one area of the game, but to set it, you need to go into the settings to do so. It just feels like an extra step that is a little unnecessary, especially odd since the rest of the menus are more easily navigated.
Ultimately, I liked my time doing this Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S review. It does a lot of good in terms of the puzzles, variety and bonus goodies. However, it is let down a little by structure that makes some of the challenge completely moot. I would actually recommend this to people who are fans of both the music and puzzle games. Heck, it even makes for a good first picross game, but I think veteran players may get frustrated with how easily it doles out hints, taking away some of the challenge. It’s one that I’ve enjoyed, but I might not keep around on my switch once I finish cleaning up those last few puzzles.
- Fun Picross action with TONS of puzzles
- Adorable art
- Music customizability
- Puzzles go up to massive 20×20 size
- Gives out hints like candy
- Can feel lacking in challenge for picross veterans
- Some strangeness with setting up customized music