OK, I admit it. I'm behind the times when it comes to cool, simple yet addictive puzzle games that other people have known about for years. What rock was I under?
First I found out about Sudoku a couple of months ago, and what a great concept that game is. Even my wife got the bug and now solves a few puzzles each week! And next, I found -- you guessed it -- Picross. This is another challenging puzzle game which is perfect for a handheld platform like the Lynx where you just want to kill some time while waiting somewhere and yet you want a little brain stimulus, too.
The concept is simple: you get a grid of empty boxes, and some numbers outside the grid indicating how many boxes are filled in that row or column. You must then deduce exactly which boxes are filled in based on this limited information. End result is a cute little picture.
Chris Vick took a break from other responsibilities (and yes, he knows Lynx fans are still anxious for Distant Lands and yes, he is still working on the game!) to deliver this cool puzzler for the 2006 Lynx Multicart. For the Lynx version, you can of course expect some nice graphics, solid audio, friendly controls, and at least 50 built-in puzzles, but Chris and I have been discussing what else we could do to give this game even more longevity.
I've had a goal in mind for new Lynx games, especially (but not only) puzzle games, where the players can keep desigining new content and make that content available for Lynx fans for years to come. CM2:BT accomplished this by supporting new levels via comlynx download. That's a nice feature, but it's not very portable since the level is in RAM only and you need a PC link to download it.
So, you get the Multicart, you've solved the built-in Picross puzzles. What now? How about a puzzle generator screen where you can create your own puzzles with a unique password? And then a password screen where players can input a new puzzle? This should be a great way for Lynx fans to experiment with different Picross puzzles and share them with the Atari community. Keep an eye out for this new game coming in 2006!