Mario's Picross

Released: March 14, 1995

The Mario Picross game for the Game Boy and Super Famicom is a collection of paint by numbers logic puzzles involving a grid with numbers for every row and column which refer to the amount of marked squares within the grid.

Since paint-by-numbers puzzles were popular in Japan but not North America, releasing the game in the US was a gamble, and ultimately not a very successful one. It is perhaps the most obscure Mario title to date, and is not usually classed as a true Mario game. Learning from their failure, Nintendo of America did not release the sequels of the game, Mario's Super Picross and the Game Boy sequel Mario's Picross 2 in North America.

To solve a puzzle, the player must mark a box in a window of varying sizes to create the resulting picture. The numbers on the top and left side of the window guide the correct boxes to mark (for example, if the window is 10x10, and one of the numbers at the top is a "10", that means all ten boxes in the column below it are part of the solution to the puzzle. If the numbers "5" and "4" are at the left of the window, that means that all but one of the boxes in the row next to them are correct, with five consecutive boxes, followed by four more consecutive boxes, separated by one space). The gameplay is timed, and mistakes cost time. If the player is sure the box is an incorrect box, he can mark it with an X so that he would know not to chisel it (useful for rows or columns marked with a "0"). Finally, there's a "With Hint" option available at the beginning of the puzzle. Choosing this will start a roulette with the numbers labelling the columns and rows. Pressing the A button would stop the top cursor, and pressing it again would stop the left cursor. The game would then show the answers for the resulting combination of a specific row and column.